A bright green Dodge Charger is parked at the Neylandville City Hall. Mayor Billy Conley is hard at work fulfilling campaign promises made before the May 2018 runoff election in the little hamlet. So far seven street lights have been installed along Lee Blvd. There are plans to bring a Dollar General to Neylandville as well as clean up the old slave graveyard. Mayor Conley wears many hats. Mayor, Cemetery caretaker, civic booster, and heart recipient.
Neylandville is ten miles northeast of Greenville in northeastern Hunt County just off Highway 224. The settlement, formerly an all-black community, began when James (Jim) Brigham bought his and his family’s freedom from Robert Neyland, a planter who had owned land in the area. “Free” Jim and other residents formed a co-op, grist mill, general store and several churches. The population grew in 1886 when the Cotton Belt Railroad built an agency and station stop in Neylandville. A post office soon followed. The hamlet incorporated in 1970 when the big push was to allow the sale of liquor because the community was midway between Greenville and Commerce. The population topped at ninety-six in the mid-eighties and remains at fifty-six in the annexed town borders today. Mayor Conley said, “about 130 residents reside in the immediate Neylandville area.”