Boy Scout Troop #398
meets at the Cedar Creek Bible Church from 7-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday. For
more information, call (903) 498-5725 or (903) 498-3830.
Cedar Creek Art Society
meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at the
Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. A $3 donation per artist is asked.
Cedar Creek Domino Club
meets each week on Wednesday at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department.
For more info, call (903) 887-6549.
Cedar Creek NAR-ANON
meets at 8 p.m. on Thursday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points.
Cedar Creek Narcotics Anonymous
meets at 8 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and
Saturday, at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.
There is a 2 p.m. Sunday meeting, also.
Cedar Creek 49ers Club
meets every Thursday for fellowship and dancing. Doors open at 6 p.m.
The club is located off Arnold Hill Road in Seven Points. Call for more
information, (903) 432-3552.
Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis Club
meets at noon each Wednesday at The Jalapeno Tree
in Gun Barrel City, except the second week of the month, when the club
meets Thursday in conjunction with the area chamber of commerce
Cedar Creek Optimist Club
meets every Tuesday at noon at the Dairy Queen in
Seven Points. For more information please call Danny Hampel at (903)
Cedar Creek Republican Club
meets every fourth Thursday. For more information call (903) 887-4867.
Cedar Creek Rotary Club
meets at noon each Friday at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant. For more
information, call Dee Ann Owens at (903) 340-2415.
Cub Scout Pack #333
meets at the First United Methodist Church of Mabank the second and
fourth Monday at 7 p.m. For information, call Mary Harris at (903)
451-5280 or Tonya Capley at (903) 498-4725.
Girl Scout Troop #112
meets at the First United Methodist Church in Mabank on Fridays at 6:30
p.m. For more info, call GeriLeigh Stotts at (469) 323-7943, email
or (800) 422-2260 or visit
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 101
meets the second Monday of each month at the Senior Citizens Center on
Hwy. 31 in Athens.
Girl Scout Troop 2667
meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Aley United Methodist Church.
For more information, please call Suzann Smith at (903) 887-3889.
Gun Barrel Quilter’s Guild
meets from 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the
Tri-County Library in Mabank. For more information, please call (903)
Kaufman County Republican Women’s Club
meets the third Saturday of each month at the Farm Bureau Insurance
Company, located at 2477 N. Hwy. 34 in Kaufman. For more info, call
(972) 287-1239 or (903) 880-6770.
Kemp Kiwanis Club
meets at noon each Thursday at La Fuente Mexican Restaurant in Kemp. For
more information, please call Dr. Jim Collinsworth at (903) 887-7486.
Lake Area Council of the Blind
meets at 6 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month at West Athens
Lake Area Democrats Club
meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the Library at
Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points. Email
for more information.
Mabank Al-Anon Family Group
meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays at Mabank First Baptist Church Fellowship
Hall. Families of alcoholics are welcome. Call (903) 887-2781 for info.
Mabank/Cedar Creek Area Lions Club
meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Tri-County
Library in Mabank. Call (903) 887-5252 for info.
Mabank Garden Club
meets at 2:45 p.m. at the Tri-County Library on the third Tuesday of
every month (different times in May and December).
Oak Harbor/Tanglewood Crime Watch
meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the R.T. Beamguard
Community Center in Oak Harbor.
Rainbow Girls, Masonic Youth organization
meets on the second and fourth Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Cedar Creek
Masonic Lodge. For more information contact Donna Dean at
Roddy Masonic Lodge
meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday each month. Call (903) 887-6201 for
RootSeekers meet at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the
Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank. The public is welcome to attend.
Southeast Kaufman County Senior Citizens Center
Board of Directors meets at 1 p.m. on the
fourth Thursday of each month at the center, located at 300 N. Dallas
Street in Kemp. For info, call (903) 498-2140.
Suicide Survivors Group
for those grieving the loss of someone by suicide, meets every Monday at
6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Mabank.
Tamarack Ladies Club
meets at 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the TLC Hall.
TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly)
meet at 6 p.m. each Monday at the First Baptist Church of Mabank.
Contact Gaye Ward at (903) 887-5913 for more info.
TVCC Singles meet at
7 p.m. each Monday in the Nutrition Center at TVCC, located off Park
Street near the Athens Country Club. This is a support group for singles
of all ages and is supported by TVCC. For more info, call Hilda Anding
at (903) 675-7270.
marker honors Lee Powell Simpson
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
PAYNE SPRINGS–A man who was instrumental in bringing public
education to Payne Springs was honored with an historical marker
Though the school building he helped build burned in 1939, its
replacement still stands today, as does the voting box for which he
successfully petitioned county commissioners back in 1890.
Four grandchildren of Lee Powell Simpson help mark the dedication of
a Texas Historical Marker Nov. 28. Pictured are (from left) Nelda
Frazier Reynolds, Twyla Frazier McManus, Wilma Frazier Childress and
His legacy lives on in the Payne Springs United
Methodist Church and neighboring Payne Springs Cemetery, established
on land he donated to the church for community use.
Payne Springs wasn’t always called Payne Springs. It was known as
the Mallard Prairie Community. Later, noted Civil War hero William
K. Payne settled in the area and its name was changed.
However, when Lee Powell Simpson first relocated there, along with
his twin brothers, youngest sister and her husband, from Washington
County, Ala., most likely in 1870, it was known as Mallard Prairie.
Simpson would become “a leader in community affairs in Payne
Following a Woodmen of the World meeting in 1876, Simpson, then
still a young man, convinced the men that their sons and daughters
deserved a better education than they could get learning how to farm
and homestead from their parents.
“You need to remember this meeting – tonight history was made,”
Jenkins repeated his father’s words to Simpson’s granddaughter Nelda
“He (Jenkins’ father) said that no one else had even thought of a
school at that time,” Jenkins added.
Simpson himself paid the first teacher the next year, with classes
held in the Woodmen of the World building.
As attendance grew, Simpson decided the school needed its own
building, so he set up a fund for the Mallard Prairie School; and at
most public gatherings, he passed the hat.
His next-door neighbor (who became his wife), Mary Catherine, often
teased him that everyone groaned whenever he arrived at a meeting or
A two-story square brick building was built on land owned by the
school. It served the community well until it burned in 1939.
Another building was built in 1940, and still serves the community
today as the Community Center, housing Payne Springs City Hall.
It is often used for cemetery association reunions and other
important gatherings, as well as housing the Payne Springs Water
However, the school was not without its challenges. In 1892, the
adjoining school district petitioned the Henderson County
Commissioners to sever the southeastern part of Mallard Prairie
School District No. 27.
Simpson immediately responded with a counter-petition, pleading
against severing any part of the district.
“That the patrons of the said district have given up too much
personal, physical and financial expense to build up the school
district the Court has originally laid out for us by the
Commissioners Court. We have succeeded in the building of and
improvements for a good school, good school buildings and have
induced immigration into our said district,” he wrote.
Further, the number of students had grown from 40 to 50 and then to
180, Simpson reported.
“If there be those adjoining us who wishing to avail themselves of
the efficient facilities to be had in our school, we gladly take
them in on their own motion. We neither wish to be disturbed nor
will we disturb anyone,” he stated in the petition.
The adjoining school district lost its request for severance.
Simpson served as school trustee for many years.
In a 1949 interview, Bonner Brown (1886-1977) told Nelda Reynolds
that “it had been said many times, when he was a young lad, that
there would not have been a Mallard Prairie School District No. 27,
if a very young man from Alabama had not decided the young people of
the community deserved an education.”
The school district continued until it was consolidated with the
Eustace ISD in 1954.
Eventually, Simpson’s brothers moved to Navarro County with their
wives, and his sister also moved away, but by then (1882) Simpson
had purchased an 80-acre farm on the Michelli Survey from Gilbert
For a year, he cleared acreage and built a home before marrying the
daughter of his next door neighbor, Mary Catherine Everett. As their
family grew, rooms were added on.
The farm is among the few in the county to have remained in the same
family for 100 years. Lee and Mary had five children there, three of
whom survived childhood.
By 1890, the community had grown and Simpson decided the voters
should have their own voting precinct. Until then, school voters had
to go to Goshen, a community about 10 miles northeast, near
present-day Purtis Creek State Park.
The Henderson County Commissioners granted Simpson’s request, and
today voters in Payne Springs still go to the old Mallard Prairie
School Building (Community Center) to cast their ballots.
Two of Simpson’s granddaughters can usually be found there helping
to work the elections.
In 1919, Simpson deeded one acre of his farm to the Mallard Prairie
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to become the site for a new
building, though he didn’t live to see it completed.
As the cemetery next door to the church grew, the church deeded a
portion of the one acre for the expansion of the cemetery behind the
When Lee Simpson became very ill, his daughter, Annie Frazier, and
husband George moved from their home in Village Mills to help care
In fact, Simpson got to watch his twin grandchildren learn to walk
by his deathbed. Simpson died in June, 1921, and was buried on the
land he donated to the church.
The Fraziers continued to live there with Lee Simpson’s widow, who
helped rear her nine grandchildren, all born at the family farm.
Though the farm was usually filled with the laughter of children,
grandchild Jacqueline Frazier Meridith recalls a time in the 1930s
when she saw her grandmother grieving while sitting on the porch.
Catherine Simpson watched her cattle being shot and their carcasses
laced with poison as one of the early measures to help bring up the
prices of commodities taken by the government under President
Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression.
Around 1943, the family moved into a newly built house in Payne
Springs, and the farm passed to grandchild Roy D. Frazier.
The old farmhouse was torn down. However, some of the lumber was
used to build a house for Roy’s twin sister, Mary Lee, and her
husband, Clifford Pelham, at Payne Springs.
No one knows precisely when the community’s name was changed from
Mallard Prairie to Payne Springs. It is known that Civil War hero
Payne bought out the Mallard Prairie store, located near the local
Sometime after Payne’s death in 1877, the residents voted to change
the community’s name in honor of Payne.
The Mallard Prairie Methodist Episcopal Church, South, is now the
thriving Payne Springs United Methodist Church, offering many
services to the community, including a parenting course called Love
and Logic, which starts a new class in January.
Lee Simpson, his wife and children, as well as other relatives, have
all been buried in the Payne Springs Cemetery and that is where
you’ll find his own Texas Historical Marker, just behind the church.
The marker to Lee Powell Simpson was dedicated Nov. 28 with the
reading of two proclamations, from the Henderson County
Commissioners and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.