March 9, 2007

Malakoff

Malakoff is at the junction of State highways 31 and 198 and eight miles west of Athens in western Henderson County. Malakoff joins Odessa, Moscow and Sebastopol as another Texas town named after a Russian city. The area was first settled by a widow from Alabama, who immigrated with her family to the area before 1835. In 1852 the name was changed to Mitcham Chapel after a Methodist church of the same name organized by the Rev. Hezekiah Mitcham.

Around 1854 the town applied for a post office under the suggested name of Mitcham or Purdon. Both names had previously been used, so postal officials in Washington suggested the name Malakoff, after a Russian town that had gained prominence during the Crimean War. The town's residents accepted the idea, and in 1885 a post office was granted. During the 1930s it gained prominence for the discovery of a large prehistoric carved head (thanks, Crews!), known as the "Malakoff Man," found in the excavation of a gravel pit in 1929.










6 comments:

1000Words said...

So what happened to the carved head?

Chris said...

Good question. I dunno. I tried Googling "Malakoff Man" to no avail.

Crews said...

Use "malakoff head" instead.

Seems that the original two move around a bit, perhaps at UT Austin now. I would like to see an image of the third, even though probably not a carving; googling for that is how I stumbled in here.

Chris said...

Thanks, crews. That seems so obvious now!

xjoujoux said...

i go to school @ malakoff

j7OCHO said...

I lived in Malakoff as a kid. I was thinking about the stone head and stumbled in here. Last I remember, one of the heads was in the Malakoff Public Library. However that was many years ago.