NAME: Larissa
COUNTY: Cherokee
CLIMATE: Warm winter, hot summer
Winter, spring, fall
COMMENTS: One of the early cultural centers of Texas.
REMAINS: Unknown.
A family from Alabama first settled Larissa in 1837. The family was Isaac Killough and his wife and the families of his four sons and two daughters. While harvesting their crops, a Native American war party swept down on the settlement and killed or carried away most of the family--eighteen men, women and children. The settlement did not come back to life until 1846 when a group from Tennessee led by a Thomas H. McKee moved into the area formerly occupied by the Killough family. The following year, Mckee laid out a townsite and named it Larissa after a Greek center of learning. That Larissa became known as "The Athens of Texas" was a result of establishing the educational institution named the Larissa Academy. In time, the Academy became Larissa College and was one of the centers for higher education in Texas. The school was closed during the Civil War and reopened after the war but never regained its former stature. It closed in 1870 and transferred its assets to Trinity University that is now in San Antonio. The closing of the College started the decline of the town and it was soon followed by the railroad bypassing the community that sealed the fate of one of the early cultural centers of Texas. SUBMITTED BY: Henry Chenoweth