In 1828 Jesse H. Cartwright received from the Mexican government a small grant of land on the east side of the Navidad River near the crossing of the Atascosito road. In 1835 Archibald S. White received a much larger grant that surrounded Cartwright’s land and included most of the area that became Speaks. In 1866 the community, named Speaksville in honor of the owner of its single store, acquired a post office that remained in operation until 1876, when the name of the community was changed to Boxville. Under the new name the post office operated until 1882, when the store apparently closed. In 1928 J. W. Koonce reestablished the store and post office under the name of Speaks, and with the coming of a new wave of residents the community grew and prospered. By 1950 the settlement had two stores, a population of fifty, and the Speaks Community Church. The discovery of the Speaks oilfield and the Seclusion gas field raised the value of property in the area but not the size of the community. In 1987 the post office, a store, and the church remained, serving a dispersed population of about sixty. Speaks is on Farm Road 530 twenty miles southeast of Hallettsville in Lavaca County.
REFERENCES: Jeff Carroll, “SPEAKS, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook /online/articles/hns67), accessed November 26, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.