Sand Hill Community

CR 4226, Decatur, Texas

From Decatur, take US 81/287 south about 3 miles to CR 4227, take CR 4227 south about .5 mile to CR 4226; head west on county road to cemetery and marker.

A center of pioneer culture in North Texas, drawing crowds to meet here at good spring of water issuing from beneath hill that gave community its name. First church (Methodist) in territory to become Wise County was organized in home of Jim Brooks in 1854. Organizers, led by the Reverend W. H. H. (“Buck”) Bradford, included Brooks, Charles Browder, Lemuel Cartwright, Thomas Cogdell, Benjamin Monroe, the Reverend John Roe, and Dr. Standifer. Cartwright soon built a new home and gave his original house to the church. The structure was affectionately called “Old Swayback”, because its long ridgepole sagged under weight of the roof. All faiths held services there; it probably was site of first school (taught in 855 by Eli Hoag) within the boundaries of Wise County, which was created in 1856. County’s first Masonic Lodge was also organized in home of Jim Brooks. Its first gristmill and other pioneer improvements were situated in this community. Last church on this site was burned on April 3, 1970. Sand Hill Campground for years was site of social and religious gatherings. Cemetery has graves of settlers and of veterans of Civil War and other conflicts. Captain Ira Long, a celebrated Texas Ranger, is buried here.