UNION GROVE, Texas (KETK) — Union Grove is a small community in Upshur County, it sits 11 miles south of Gilmer. The community was first settled in the mid-1880s.

Among the earliest settlers was John O’Byrne, a native of Ireland, who built a large plantation home and opened a sawmill.

Around 1886, a school began operating near his house. The school was part of the West Mountain District until 1907, when the districts were separated.

The settlement remained small until the early 1930s, when oil was discovered nearby and Union Grove became a boomtown.

By the mid-1930s it had two churches, a school and a number of stores. After World War II most of the businesses closed, but in the mid-1960s Union Grove still had a high school and a large number of houses.

The population there is a little over 400 people and that’s why we’re saluting this small town.