Moody Depot located in downtown Moody before moved to Temple.
Photos by joyce woods cox
Moody Depot moved to Temple and became Temple Railroad Museum
Photo coming soon
Moody Depot today, located on Temple, Santa Fe Depot/Museum land, used as Central, TX. Area Model Railroaders Organization.
Photo coming soon
Passenger Steam Locomotive 3423 came through Moody many times after it was built in 1921. Presently located in downtown Temple on Santa Fe tracks by Depot and Museum.
Photo coming soon
by Joyce Woods Cox
Moody is located in Central Texas in southwest McLennan County on St. Hwy. 317 and FM 107. The neighborhood encompasses the areas of Stampede, Elm, Cow Bayou Creeks, Bosque and Leon Rivers. A major portion of the population lives in bordering Bell and Coryell Counties. Moody was built near the headwaters of Stampede Creek overlooking Stampede Valley, Chisholm Trail, Leon Valley and cedar hills of Coryell County.
Moody was established in 1881, when the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway laid track. Fuel, water and crew stops were built along its route. This was how cities like Moody, Sealy, Somerville, Rosenberg, Kempner, Temple and others were founded and named after prominent Galvestonians. Moody was named after Lt. Colonel William Louis Moody, Sr., the 7th Texas Infantry during the Civil War. He was born May 19, 1828. After the war, Moody, prospered and became a rich entrepreneur. He became a director of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway. A Curator of Collections at the Moody Museum stated it is the understanding Moody was named for Colonel Moody in his role of railroad director. In 1880-81 Colonel Moody age 52 was running banking and cotton factoring businesses, was president of the Cotton Exchange and was involved in, the Deep Water Committee which was also founded in 1881. Some historians wrote he established the railroad route, which is doubtful the Moody Curator said.
William Naler a native of Tennessee and Georgia heard the railroad was coming through Central Texas. He met with railroad officials and offered to donate land for the railroad if they would come through the area where Moody is located today. McLennan County deed of records states a town called Moody, 120 acres of land laid off by E. F. Batte Engineer, April 25, 1881, William and Martha Jane Naler conveyed for $10 to George Sealy blocks for Railway purposes and uses for the city of Moody. Dedication and set apart to and for the founding and building a town thereon to be called Moody and to be laid off and divided into blocks, lots, streets and alleys. James Clements settler from Walker County, Georgia also conveyed part of his land to help build the city of Moody.
Dan McClain was the first to move to Moody. Joseph Naylor built the first home, later sold it to his nephew William Naler. A replica of the old homestead was built by J.D. Naylor. He donated it to Moody Depot Museum in Temple. Today the depot is located in downtown Temple next to Santa Fe depot. Santa Fe Depot is presently the museum.
Moody's first child born was Ross Ogden. Polly Naylor was first to be buried in Naler Cemetery. (Names Naylor and Naler came from the same family.) Some other early land owners and settlers were, Bird Clements, Elijah S. Knowles, Dan McClain, M.L. Carmony, William McClain, Edwin McClain, William Hancock, B. H. Prewitt, B.M. Nichols, John Connally, James Connally, H.C, Connally, B. B. Naler, W.H. and Texie Naler Neely, J. C. Dutton. James Timothy Lee, Silas Baggett, S.W. Rice, Etta Frances Lee, Susan Tennessee McMellan Lee, Charles Howard, Capt. L. L. Fuller, William Ned C. and Angero Knowles Lawrence, E. S. and James H. Knowles, B. H. Prewitt, B.M. Nichols, W. R. Johnston, W. Meyer, Mike Jones, Martha Ann Combs, Jim Rutherford, Adolphus and Lizzie Cole Hill, Daniel Jones, Louis M. and Mary Aerl Hatter, M.H. Brumbelow, J.N. Alexander, Adella Hatter Buckner, John McCauley, John Naler, Susan Jones, E.G.L. Wiebusch. R.V. Mitchell, Dr. E. R. Cline, J. C. Miller, S.H Pollard, Festus Johnson, J.K. Purifoy, J.F. Gordon, Fred Acree, Shelton and Annie Neeley Sims, Commodore and Laura Garman Strange, Silas and Susan Witt, T.M. Lindsey, Baldwin Pearce Lee, Caleb and Elizabeth Marrs, and S. W. Rice.
Many changes took place in the lives of settlers in the 1850's. In the era from 1865 to the time of Moody's founding, Chisholm Trail was the highway to move Longhorns through the state. Dreams of prosperity and rumors of a railroad, wagon trains formed Texas bound. In 1851 Joseph Naylor a leading settler of Moody from Georgia found a stopping point called Perry Hills. Another caravan with Edmund and Chaucy Moffet and William Hancock from Perry, Illinois made their way to the same site. Immigrants who arrived on this site built a village called Perry two miles north of Moody. Perry now a defunct town was by passed by the railroad. Settlers picked up their belongings and moved their homes and businesses down a dirt road using horses, ox wagons, and wooden sleds to the new settlement later called Moody. Well, maintained Perry Cemetery where many of our first pioneers rest, still exists today.
The railroad brought new prosperity to the region. The new city of Moody by the Santa Fe tracks became a booming town with homes, churches, schools, cemeteries, ice plants, blacksmith shops, post office, general stores, newspapers, drug stores and five cotton gins. First owners of Palace Theater were Jim McAuley and Tom Payne. First talkie at the Palace was, "So Long Letty."
1881, E. W. Billings was first to publish a newspaper, called The Monitor. After several years of squabbling Billings sold The Monitor to Squire Hundley who published The Moody Courier. Hundley combined the papers into one name, The Moody Courier. Hundley also published Moody News, a daily newspaper. 1895, The Review, publisher unknown; Other publisher-owners of The Moody Courier through the years were,1900 M. Phelan; 1904 Mary Jane Cox; 1907 James Hartfield; 1908 Gus Moore, (the grandfather of Jo Barsh); 1908 The Daily Courier, Sam Braswell owner publisher; 1910 R. L. Fox; 1938 Florene Fox; 1938 J. W. and Effie Gay; 1968 Mr. and Mrs. John Sellman in partnership with Bonnie Buro McNiel Sekerak, 1974, Larry Ingram, 1977, Ken and Jane Gates; 1985 Cody and Marleea Crittenden; 1988 Bill and Camelia Foster, Ellen Foster, second wife; July, 2003 Betty Zuspan; January, 2004 Bill Foster. The Magpie was a second paper in 1994. September 1997, Moody Community News and Hometown News was published. Hometown News a community paper continues to publish Moody news today. Moody Community News went out of business in Dec. 1997. The Moody Courier office moved to Waco to be with its sister paper, The Waco Citizen. Today, most news and photos are sent to the paper over the internet. Mike D. Stanley Sr., production manager designs the pages on computer with a good output quality. He then sends to the printer via the internet. This progress in the newspaper industry has become the most economical and much easier than the old hot type and paste up days. The final edition of The Moody Courier was April 29, 2004. Sadly, Bill Foster owner publisher of The Moody Courier, changed the paper's name to The Courier. The Courier now serves, Moody, Bruceville-Eddy, Lorena and Robinson area. For the first time since Moody was born in 1881, we do not have a personal newspaper. In 2003 Waco Tribune-Herald Neighbor, started coverage of Moody in their weekly newspaper. Ken Sury is editor of the Neighbor.
In 1882 Charles Howard entered the general merchandise business across from the present bank building. Staton and Howard partnership was formed. They built a stone business, today is Moody Furniture, owners are Bill and Jean Culpepper. Through the years the old buildings housed many businesses, some are Howard Carnes, Buckner Drug, Denny and Witt, Roberts Drug, and, Moody Post Office. A lumber yard was built by J. L. Fuller in 1882. M.L. Cormany built "Old Teaser" the first cotton gin where the nursing home is today. Cormany also built the first ice, water plant and a magnificent native stone Cormany hotel. A replica was built of the old hotel, but its whereabouts is unknown today. Inside the hotel was the Alamo theater. It was located north of the Post Office parking lot on TX 317. Cormany was historian, Hazel Potter's grandfather. She passed away July 14, 2000, at age 92. In 1883 other hotels were built by B. B. Naler, and Capt. Cook. Tom Payne built a drug store of native stone in 1882. It was known as the oldest drug store in central Texas and one of the oldest in the state. After approximately 115 years, Moody lost their drug store. Paul Kitchens was the last practicing Moody pharmacist. Half of the drug store was sold to Harvey Pittman. In earlier years it was called David Haggard Variety Store and Irvin's Variety Store, owners Jack and Janice Smith Irvin. Danny Williamson bought the other half of the drug store from Paul and Pat Kitchens, and later was known as OLE' Moody Drug and Gift Co. Nikky Munz managed it for about 6 years. Today it is called Moody Gift Co. Partners are, Nikky Munz, Virginia Sells, Nancy Britton and Staci Stone. The second story through the years housed Dr.'s offices, Odd Fellows Lodge, Telephone operators to name a few. Dr. C. R. Clay, Dr. P.M. Kuykendall, Dr. C. K. Haggard, Dr. J. B. Young and Dr. J. C. Crow were the five Dr.'s in the late 1800s and early 1900's, E. R. Cline was the dentist. Dr. E. R. McCauley was Moody's country Dr. in the 30's, 40's and 50's. Minnie Barbay was his nurse. Today Moody has a Scott & White Satellite Clinic. In early years Dr. W. U. Tosh was the towns veterinarian.
In 1884 John McCauley built a two story stone building on Ave. E. He housed hardware, harness and saddle business and lived upstairs. Later it became the Farmers State Bank Building.
The Z. S. Teague Moody Lodge #568 sold their historic Masonic building in downtown Moody to Danny Williamson, a Moody building contractor. The Lodge and the new owner exchanged ownership during the last week of December 1997. A nameplate on the building was mounted July 1899. Portraits lined the wall of many of Moody's most distinguished citizens. Organized in 1882 the lodge meeting room was on the 2nd floor of the building. Captain J. L. Fuller was the first Worshipful Master. Previously, housed on the first floor of the building was Flowers & Things owned by Ken and Jane Gates. Presently Glenn Thurman is Master of the lodge. Forty and twenty year awards were presented August 12, 2000, in the new lodge located on south St. Hwy. 317. They were Henry Bostick, Otis Elkin, Dr. Joseph Ford, McKay Rice, Jr., Bobby E. Donaldson, Rev. Marion Ford, Neville Allison and Bobby Gene Welch. Twenty year awards were presented to Weldon Floyd Smith, Clarence O. Adams, Hal Kent Donaldson and Donald Alman.
City of Moody voted to incorporate in 1901, choosing a mayor-council form of city government with S. Hundley as mayor. Mayor today is Mike Alton. Moody is protected against fires by an excellent volunteer fire department.
Moody Independent School District has one of the best public school systems in Texas. At present they have kindergarten, grammar, middle school and a separate high school plus a new football bowl stadium. Marc Anderson retired at beginning of the new 2004 school year after 18 years with the Moody Independent School District. Allen Law, was named by the school board to become MHS new superintendent.
Moody has a substantial business district, eight churches and several residential areas. Mother Neff State Park, TX first State Park is seven miles west of the city on the Leon River. Vandiver Gin is the only operating gin in McLennan County. It is owned by Beans Vandiver, run by Bennie Hargrove. Downs brothers of Temple, established the Citizens Bank with a capital of $300 and 4 bales of cotton. In 1901 the bank was nationalized under the name of First National Bank of Moody. F. F. Downs was president. The bank still continues to be in operation. History shows it has been robbed once. Today, Glen Thurman is president.
Moody post office was established in Nov. 1881. J. H. Morrison was postmaster. Debra Dowell retired June 27, 2003. She served as postmaster for 21 years with 30 years of service. Rick Richard is postmaster today.
Growing Moody Community Library is a wonderful asset to the community. It is supported by volunteers, grants and donations. Board members: Cora Lee Jones, Librarian, Debra Dowell, president, Lulu Jo Beerwinkle, secretary Debbie Schmidt and, Joyce Woods Cox. It is located downtown in our country Drs. office, and the old Moody Courier office. The Chamber of Commerce gave the first building to the library. The library purchased the adjoining building. The building has been modernized with shelves, all the latest books and several computers with Internet access for the community to enjoy. It is home for the Old Moody Courier Printing Press. First patented on May 20, 1885, Old Moody Courier Printing Press was in Moody, 1938 - 1968. 1968-1999 the Press and 1,000 artifacts was donated to Moody Depot Railroad and Pioneer Museum in Temple, by Bonnie Buro Sekerak. August, 18, 1999 it was returned to its original home.
Famous people grew up, lived and or visited in Perry and Moody communities.
Frank Elmer Simmons, (1880-1966) journalist and historian, was born near Friend, Nebraska, on January 15, 1880. His parents moved their family to Texas in 1883, first to Walker County and then to McLennan County. Simmons attended Walker School until 1892, then Haunted Hill School, and in 1900 Salado College. In 1901 he taught school at Horn, south of McGregor. He married Laura Alice Stapp on August 25, 1901. They had two sons and one daughter. Around 1910 they moved to Oglesby in Coryell County, where they lived for fifty-one years. Simmons began a journalistic career in 1895 as the Moody correspondent for the McGregor News. He edited the Oglesby Outlook for two years and worked as a staff writer for other country newspapers. He wrote History of Coryell County (1936), Coryell County History Stories (1948), The Legend of Haunted Hill, and Other Poems (1948), and History of Mother Neff Memorial State Park. He died in Oglesby on January 9, 1966. source Handbook of TX.
Lt. Gov., James P. Alexander, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, grew up in Moody and held the office for seven years.
Macum Phelan, (1874-1950) minister and writer. Beginning in 1917 he researched and wrote a two-volume history of the Methodist Church in Texas-History of Methodism in Texas: He was also the editor of A Handbook of All Denominations, first published in 1915, revised and expanded in the sixth and seventh editions (1930 and 1933) into A New Handbook of All Denominations. Phelan bought the Moody Courier in 1900 and spent two years as editor of the weekly newspaper, thinking he had settled into a career as a small-town publisher. However, as he later recounted, the "call to preach" became so insistent that he sold the newspaper and returned to the University of Texas, this time to study for the ministry. source Handbook of TX.
Jay A. Phillips, (1892-1977) a leader in public accounting, was born in Holland, Texas, and graduated from high school in Moody. The son of a tenant farmer, he also farmed briefly before completing a course in bookkeeping at Draughon's Business College in Waco, His most notable charitable and civic activities included two decades on the board of managers of Jefferson Davis City-County Hospital in Houston, followed in 1958 by his tenure as chairman of the Scott and White Memorial Hospital board in Temple at a time of major expansion in that facility. source Handbook of TX.
Frank Grimes, (1891-1961) editor of the Abilene Reporter-Newsqv for over forty years, son of Lewis Gantt and Xantha Rosalie (Wootton) Grimes, was born at Pendleton, Texas, on October 13, 1891. Governor Coke R. Stevensonqv appointed him one of thirty-one members of the Post-War Economic Planning Commission for Texas. Grimes was a member of the 1947 American Press Institute editorial writers' seminar at Columbia University. He was a Methodist and a Democrat. He worked for papers in Moody and Belton before going in 1913 to the Temple Daily Telegram as cub reporter; he later became city editor. In 1951 a Pulitzer Prize jury nominated Grimes and six others for the prize in editorial writing. source Handbook of TX.
Joseph Abner Hill (1877-1973), college president, the sixth of eleven children of Francis Patterson and Rachel (Witt) Hill, was born on October 29, 1877, on a cotton farm five miles south of Moody, in Bell County, Texas. His father, a tenant farmer who had come to Texas from Oxford, Alabama, was a former Confederate cavalryman. Joseph grew up picking cotton and doing other menial labor. He began his formal education at Stampede School, near Moody, in 1882 and later attended Thomas Arnold High School in Salado, where he boarded at the home of his mother's cousin, Professor T. J. Witt. After graduating in 1897, Hill chose as a gift from his father $100 instead of a horse, so he could go to college at the University of Texas in Austin. After working his way through a year of school, he taught in rural schools for two years to earn more money to complete his B.A. degree in history, which he received in 1902. Later that year he and Witt took over the administration of Central Texas Institute, which they purchased and reorganized under the name Jefferson Academy at Salado. Hill published American History for Schools, written in collaboration with R. B. Cousins, in 1913. In 1944 he and Hattie M. Anderson published My Country and Yours, which was widely used as a textbook in Texas public schools and subsequently appeared in two revisions. His other books include One Man's Faith (1954), a compilation of his speeches; The Panhandle-Plains Historical Society and Its Museum (1955); More than Brick and Mortar (1959), the first published history of WTA&M, to which he added a supplement in 1963; and I Hold the Key, or My Success Depends on Me (1962), a compilation of famous inspirational quotations. source Handbook of TX.
Pat Neff (1871-1952), governor of Texas and president of Baylor University, was born in Coryell County, Texas, on November 26, 1871, the son of Noah and Isabella (Shepherd) Neff. President of Baylor University and Gov. of Texas, Neff entered office in January 1921 with an extensive agenda.
Van Cliburn world famous pianist parents lived at Moody. Van Cliburn was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on July 12, 1934, the son of Harvey Lavan Cliburn and Rildia (Ril-da) Bee O'Bryan Cliburn. His family moved to Texas when he was 8 year old. Van Cliburn is Classical Pianist of Our Time. Van Cliburn International Music Competition, begun in 1962. This competition is held in Fort Worth every four years and draws worldwide attention as pianists from many countries come here to compete for prizes which will advance their careers as musicians. This competition draws international attention to young musicians, bringing interest and support to classical music. Mr. Cliburn has generously devoted his time and talent to promote classical music in our time, and for generations to come.
William Evander Penn (1832-1895). Visited Perry and Moody communities on several occasion. He baptized many early day settlers. He was known as "Texas Evangelist." He was born to George Douglas and Telitha (Patterson) Penn in Rutherford County, Tennessee, on August 11, 1832. He married Corrilla Frances Sayle on April 30, 1856. On December 4, 1880, at Broadway Baptist Church, Galveston, reverends W. W. Keep, J. M. C. Breaker, C. C. Pope, and W. O. Bailey ordained him. He wrote some hymns and published Harvest Bells, a hymnal with J. M. Hunt in 1881. A second edition was published in 1886, and H. M. Lincoln and Penn published a third in 1887. After leaving Texas, the Penns moved to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, about 1887. He wrote the autobiographical part of The Life and Labors of Major W. E. Penn in 1892, but the book was not published until 1896, after his death. He died at his home on April 29, 1895, and was buried in Eureka Springs Cemetery, Eureka Springs, Arkansas. source Carol Kerley
Frank "Tiger" Price inducted into the first International Aerobatics Hall of Fame in 1987 in Oshkosh, Wis. In 1992, he was inducted into the Hall of Honor in Bartlesville, Okla. He represented America in the first World Aerobatic Contest in Bratis Lava Czechoslovakia. He played the flying role in the movie, The Great Waldo Pepper. Price passed away Sept. 9, 1999. His wife Celesta Pack Price lives in one of Moody's oldest homes, built by the Kuykendall family.
Beauford Halbert Jester (1893-1949),governor, was born in Corsicana, Texas, on January 12, 1893, to Frances (Gordon) and George Taylor Jester. History shows Gov. Jester was in Moody in 1946 as a guest speaker for American Legion. In 1946 Jester ran for governor as a middle-of-the-road Democratic and easily won a second term in 1948.
W. Lee O'Daniel (1890-1969) and his Lightcrust Dough Boys attended a rally in the late 30's at Mother Neff State Park. He was probably the first candidate anywhere in the nation to use a fiddle band (or perhaps any kind of a band) as a principal part of a political campaign. He toured the state with his Hillbilly Boys, who began his rallies by playing "Beautiful Texas" (which O'Daniel strategically recorded the year before). In 1939 he became governor. O'Daniel made the world aware that there was a distinctive Texas sound and that music was important enough to help a flour salesman attain the highest office in the state. source Handbook of TX.
Astronaut Mission Specialist, James Reilly, spoke on Oct. 4, 1998 at the Commodore Patience Strange reunion at Moody High School Commons. He has traveled a total of 8.9 million miles in 338 orbits of the earth on two flights.
Gov. George Bush, Jr., of Texas bought ranch land in year 2000 in nearby Crawford and has build a home. Today he is the President of the United States. The president and his wife Laura retreat to the Western White House several times a year. When the president is at his ranch, the air is patrolled with fighter jets. They circle over Moody communities about every 15-20 minutes. If the jets are flying low, they are usually escorting strayed aircraft in the restricted flight area to a nearby airfield. Air traffic within a 30-nautical-mile radius is grounded during his stay.
Bearcats of MHSdeveloped many enterprising graduates and put their skills to work. Others stayed to work for the betterment and stability of the community. Many moved away, only to return.
The Moody Cotton Harvest Festival was organized by twelve members in 1999. The committee is made up by volunteers. The committee sponsored a very successful festival on Sept. 25, 1999. The sixth annual festival will be Sept. 25, 2004. It is always held on the fourth Saturday in September. Committee members are: Charlene Dowell secretary, Nikky Munz vice president, Jane Gates secretary, Jo Harrison parade chairman, Joyce Woods Cox publicity, Gladys Burton, Cora Lee Jones, Nancy Haas Witt, Helen Caperton, Mary Glass, Juliette Pinkston, Rev. C.C. Schulz, Carol Ann Hass, Howard Hill, Marla Knutson, Margaret Scranton, Rev. Calvin Washington, Louise Allman, Wilson Brumbelow, Kurt Hall and Bobby Donaldson. Jacqueline Gates is Moody News and Events webmistress. The committee's ultimate goal is to build a community center for Moody. We are now proud owners of approximately 5 acres of land, donated to build the center. Jimmy and Laura Ward gave us this land in loving memory of Laura's grandmother, Mary Coulter Hatter. Kirk Hall a committee member, has submitted layout proposals on the land and the community center. The land is located east of town on FM 107. This year the Festival Committee has set up a schedule for Corporate sponsors to enable us to reach our goal of building a community center sooner. We also will accept tax deductible sponsorships from citizens in the area. The festival has a full day of activities. They include, pie contest, auction, parade, all types of activities for all ages and fifty plus vendors. "Feed the Soldiers color guard and band," campaign has been very successful. It will remain a yearly event to honor our soldiers. The soldiers eat with us at our barbecue meal with all the trimmings in Moody Elementary cafeteria. 2004, Grand Marshal is Otis Elkin. Previous years Grand Marshal of 1999 was McLennan County Sheriff Jack Harwell and Frankie Lunch; 2000 Grand Marshal was Paul Alexander; 2001 Grand Marshal was B.R. Parham; 2002 Grand Marshal was D.C. Perryman; 2003 Grand Marshal was J.P. Ross. Raffles of a Modified Cathedral window hand sewn quilt by the loving hands of Moody women and donated framed Western Scene Art by Jean Horton will go to the lucky winners. Entertainment will be the Brazos Valley Cow'ographers. They are men and women of the old west re-enactors during the 1800s. Also, TAMA (Temple Area Music Association) with an Open Mic Concert under a big tent. The tent is sponsored by Cole Funeral Home. First Baptist Church Activities Center on Ave. E is the location for the annual Quilt Show. Moody Cotton Harvest Festival Committee is a non profit Corp. The Corp. is not associated with the City of Moody.