|Elevation||371 ft (113 m)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central (CST))|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|Area code(s)||430 & 903|
|GNIS feature ID||1379413|
Bethel is an unincorporated community in Anderson County, located in the U.S. state of Texas. According to the Handbook of Texas, 50 people lived in the community in 2000. It is a part of the Palestine, Texas micropolitan area.
Originally, land was granted to José de Jesús Grande on October 28, 1828 with an understanding that he would attract people to populate and cultivate the land. The first African American settlers came to settle in this land as part of a Baptist migration to the area in 1833, and the organization of this community couldn't occur until it was over. By the early 1850s the community had a general store and a blacksmith shop. A post office was established at Bethel in 1852, and remained in operation until 1914. The first postmaster was named Charles Gilmore. The 1860 federal census recorded 300 inhabitants. After arriving in the community in 1848, a church building was erected on land donated by Henry Rampy on July 13, 1859, as well as a cemetery. It was given to three men named F.S. Jackson, Thomas Hudson, and Isaiah King so that Baptists, Methodists, and Cumberland Presbyterians could use both of them. The church was used for about forty years, after which it was abandoned and the building was torn down. The church cemetery was still in use in 1990, maintained by a voluntary association including descendants of the original grantor. For many years the cemetery was marked by a grove of huge cedar trees. Local legend says that during the Civil War the Confederacy had a campground near the cemetery. Soldiers who died were buried without grave markers. Instead, the cedar trees were planted so that after the war people could return and place markers. The economy of the area has always been largely agricultural. During the Great Depression of the 1930s the population dropped to thirty. After World War II there was a slight increase during the time of major oil discoveries, in which it had 90 occupants. It had 30 inhabitants from the 1970s to 1990. The cemetery is still in the community to this day. As of 2000 the population was fifty people.
Bethel had a school district until it was consolidated with the Cayuga Independent School District in the 1950s. In 1990, the facilities of the Cayuga ISD were the only buildings that remained in the community. It is still currently served by the Cayuga ISD today.