Pin Hook.

Note (August 11, 2014):  Thank you for all comments about Pin Hook.  When I posted these photos a few years ago, I had no idea how loyal and lively the good folks of Pin Hook are. Your comments are not only kind, you are also providing fascinating historical details.   I am humbled to know that I have contributed a small part to keeping your memories alive. 

William Holmes

Arlington, Texas


From This Stubborn Soil by William A. Owens:  “… since I was born at Pin Hook, Texas, a place whose character has not been made known to the world generally, I must begin by writing all I know or ever heard about it.”

What is left of Pin Hook is on view in Lamar County, up in Northeast Texas.  No one knows how Pin Hook got its name.  People settled in this area before 1836 (the year Texas became an independent republic).  William Owens, a noted Texas writer, came from Pin Hook.  Owens’s best known work This Stubborn Soil is a memoir of his youth in East Texas.  It is worth reading for an unvarnished view of life in the country.   These photos shows the remains of the Pin Hook general store, a century old.

20 thoughts on “Pin Hook.

  1. My Great Grandmother was born there in Pinhook, TX, also my Grandmother. My Great Grandmother was Meggie Belle Haley daughter of James Mathew Haley and Lucy Ann Weaver. James’s Father was Mathew William Haley Sr. and Brother Mathew William Haley Jr. Haley Sr. and wife Mary D. Nunnely is laid to rest at Albion on their old homestead. Haley Jr. and wife Maggie Anderson are laid to rest at Woodland. The store is where she and family would have shopped for supplies, it makes you stop and think how lucky we are to have what we have today. Wonderful pictures. I hope it is still standing when I go back to visit, so I can get some pictures.

      • I just returned from a visit to the Pin Hook cemetery. My great Grandparents from both sides of the family are buried there. Charles and Jessi Ann Owens. Doc and Maggie Farmer. Someone seems to be keeping the place up. I’m thankful.
        -Edward Owens-

        • Thank you for visiting “We’ll See!” and submitting your comments. The Pin Hook entry continues to stir up a lot of interest. I admit to being surprised. When I posted those photos, I had no idea how loyal and lively Pin Hook folks are. I am pleased and humbled to do a small part in keeping Pin Hook memories alive.

  2. Hello
    Just a tidbet about PIN Hook, Tx, When i was born My Grandfather ” BOB Parker” had a 329 ac ranch in Pin Hook, as i recall, back then it was next to Ramsey 777 and stradeled the lamar and red river county lines on Pine creek.
    My family ties go back to Aurther city ; Deport ; Blossom from 1880’s.

    • Thanks Brett for information on your grandfather, Pin Hook and surrounding towns. I need to visit up there again. I do believe that this corner of Texas is underestimated for its color and history. Speaking of ranches, I recently found a book on historic ranches in Texas. I’m thinking about rounding up my partner Maria and visiting some ranches, then doing a photo/narrative series for the website.

    • Sounds like your Grandfather’s land is really close to my family’s land. My uncle Stanley Maddox lived behind us and we were in lamar cty and he was in red river county.

  3. My family is also from Pinhook, the Maddox’s. I acutally am having the honor of moving there my self with my new litte family. I am so excited to move there, I will live right down the road from this old store. This store is no longer standing =(

  4. What a great teaser on Pinhook, or Pin Hook. My great-great grandparents lived there in the mid to late 1800s, Dr Preston and Mary Arminda Phenix. Looking forward to reading Owens’ book now. Great pictures. Priceless.

  5. I grew up in Pinhook! My whole family lived there until they passed. When I was a toddler, they called me the “Pinhook Streaker” because as soon as I got home from town I’d take EVERYTHING off! lol I am so glad to come across this! My family that lives/lived in Pinhook: grandparents Tom & Colleen Maddox
    parents Larry Bob and Linda Beth Maddox
    uncle Stanley and aunt Edna Earl Maddox
    their daughter Patty and her husband Kerry Dykes, and my cousin Britni
    Dykes and her husband Jay live in my dad and grandparents old house.

  6. I was told the name “Pinhook” came from the fact that there are a lot of Pin Oaks there and it got shortened/changed to that somehow.

  7. Hi! I was lead to this site through a cousin of mine. William A Owens was my great great uncle. Please do read his book “This Stubborn Soil”. My family is considering trying to locate his (Uncle Bill’s) grandmother’s burial site at Red Oak Cemetery. In his book he states, ” They buried her at Red Oak.” Since they “couldn’t afford the twenty-five dollars for a headstone…oak boards were placed at her head and feet. The grave was lost with decay and rot of the boards.” She died in 1907, when Uncle Bill was “barely two years old.” Her name was Missouri Ann Chennault. She had walked from Arkansas after the Civil War to Pin Hook to be with her daughter, Jessie Ann Chennault Owens. One of Uncle Bill’s brothers was named Charles Cleaver, after his father and mother’s grandmother. He never states what his father’s name was, only this reference. I am a descendent of John Monroe Owens, Sr and Willie Mae Owens of DeKalb. My grandfather was John “Jack” Monroe Owens, Jr. WWll PoW, and truck farmer in the Blossom area. Thank you for keeping the Pin Hook spirit alive!

    • Hi Mr. Owens, thank you for visiting “We’ll See!” and for submitting your comment. Yes, I did read “This Stubborn Soil”– totally loved it! During my brief visit, years ago, as I walked around what was left of Pin Hook, I imagined what it must have been like in your cousin’s day. Most of us today would have given up when faced with the challenges your cousin faced. Or, perhaps, we would have risen to the occasion– we’ll never know. Interestingly, I have received more responses to my Pin Hook entry than to any other of the 850+ “We’ll See!” entries. Evidently, Pin Hook folks are a loyal lot. They ought to be– they have much to be proud of!

      • I just got in from a trip to Pin Hook. I spoke to the lady that owns the lot where this store was located. She told me that apparently someone didn’t like her political signs she had. The result was arson three years ago. The store and large tree are no longer there. All that is left is the steps leading up to a barbed wire fence. She also told me that the cemetery there once had around 100 people buried. Right now there may be ten grave markers, one dating back to the Civil War. I did see the Maddox place also, they are right next to Pin Hook Cemetery where Jessie Ann and Charley Owens (Uncle Bill’s parents) are buried.

        It was my cousin that pointed me to this site. William “Bill” Owens was my great great uncle.

        • I am thankful that I got photos of the store before it was destroyed. Anyone know when the store was built? Someone once told me that old abandoned wood buildings and houses we often see along back roads are not as old as we might think. I always want to think they are a hundred years old, but my source said most such structures usually date from 1920s. Of course in a few years even that will be a century!

          • My great uncle told my cousin and I, on Facebook, that he remembers going into this store when the bus dropped him and his mother off at the intersection. They would “go inside and get a dipper of water” before beginning their walk to his grandmother’s house which was beyond the Pin Hook Cemetery. He was five years old then, he’s 76 now. I asked him, again on Facebook, if he knew when the store was built. I am currently awaiting his reply and will get back to you as soon as I now something.

Please let us know what you think about what we see.