Mantua, Collin County, Texas (History of Collin Co., Tx)
Mantua is truly a ghost town, a town that grew and flourished for only 25 years, but was an important one during that time. It was situated five miles northwest of Anna. It was conceived and founded as a site for a college, the Mantua Seminary and the founders were Wm. C. McKinney, James W. Throckmorton (later Governor of Texas), and Joe H. Wilcox. They purchased 200 acres of land from Wm. C. McKinney and donated the tract to the trustees of the new Seminary. Some of the land was divided into lots and sold to help finance the Seminary, with certain restrictions--- no liquor was to be sold, no gambling, no horse races staged and anyone who violated these laws would lose his lot and improvements back to the trustees. The first lot was sold to Horation Walcott for $60, who became the owner of the first store. In 1857, Dr. W. D. Lair bought a lot and begain his practice of medicine in the new town, others went to James B. McBride, H. N. Walcott, William C. and Y. S. McKinney, Jas. L. Leslie and James Enloe. The Seminary was for both male and female students, classes being taught for 10 to 20 dollars per class each session. The subjects taught were about like the modern high school would teach.
In 1846 the McKinney family and J. B. Wilmeth organized a Christian Church that met in the home of Carroll McKinney near Van Alstyne and in 1854 the church was moved to Mantua. Drs. James Leslie and Rollins put in a drug store soon afterward and J. M. Douthitt a dry good store. The Civil War brought all growth to a standstill here as everywhere in the county and it was not until after the war that it began to grow and thrive. The Masons agreed to build a big building for the Seminary and work got under way. A post office was established in 1856 with E. B. Rollins as postmaster. A Methodist Church began in 1866 and Oscar Riddle opened a saloon just outside the town boundary. It is interesting to note that a member of the Texas legislature came to Mantua on a visit and heard a woman praying that the saloon be removed from their midst. When he went back to Austin he helped frame a bill that eventually closed all saloons in Texas. The population of Mantua reached 300 right after the war.