Site of Chesser Valley Community
Marker No: 12683
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Location: 3.9 miles southwest of Mullin on FM 575, at intersection with Williams Ranch Road
Marker Text: Near this site is the Chesser Valley, named for early settler John Dan Chesser, whose home became the focal point of a small rural community by the same name. Missouri native John Dan Chesser (1842-1914) moved to Texas with his family in 1854 and married Tennessean Elizabeth Caroline Epley (1842-1924) in 1860. They first lived in Burnet, Texas, but moved to this part of the state after Chesser's service in the Texas State Troops during the Civil War.
The Chesser's homesteaded 160 acres of land in the valley in what was then part of Brown County. They expanded their log home as their family grew to number 11 children. It served as a church, hospital and hotel for travelers along the Williams Ranch Road.
Chesser Valley was the site of frequent camp meetings. Entire families came from miles away to camp out in a grove of Live Oak trees and attend prayer and preaching services under a tabernacle near the Chesser house. A one-teacher school began in 1868 to serve the children in the area around Chesser Valley. After Mills County was created out of Brown County in 1887, the new county commissioners court recognized the school district and designated it as District No. 8.
Those who settled the Chesser Valley community were primarily friends and family of John Dan and Elizabeth Chesser. The Chesser house, which had been the nucleus of the community, burned in 1926, and by the dawn of the 21st century, only one original structure remained from the period of the valley's settlement. (2002)