|ALMONT, TEXAS. Almont, twelve miles north of DeKalb
in northwestern Bowie County, was named for Almont Hill, where the first
houses were built. A post office was opened there in 1893 with Edwin Thompson
as postmaster. In 1896 the settlement had a population of twenty-five.
The post office was closed in 1904. In 1984 Almont consisted of a church,
a business, and a few scattered houses.
BASSETT, TEXAS. Bassett is on the St. Louis and Southwestern Railway fourteen miles south of DeKalb in southwestern Bowie County. The town was named for John Bassett, on whose land grant the site is located. A post office was opened there in 1882 with G. B. Dalby as postmaster. By 1884 the town had two sawmills and a population of twenty-five and served as a shipping point for local farm products and lumber. In 1890 the population was 100. It was seventy-five in 1914 and fifty-eight in 1925. The post office was closed in 1958. In 1982 the town had a population of forty and no rated businesses. In 1990 the population was 373.
BEAVER DAM, TEXAS. Beaver Dam is a small, predominantly black community fourteen miles northwest of DeKalb in northeastern Bowie County. The town, named for a large beaver dam on a nearby creek, has never had a post office. In 1933 it reported one rated business and a population of ten. In the 1940s and 1950s the reported population was twenty-five. In 1984 Beaver Dam comprised a church, a cemetery, and a few scattered houses.
BOSTON, TEXAS. Boston, the county seat of Bowie County, is just south of U.S. Highway 82 and the Missouri Pacific Railroad and twenty-two miles west of Texarkana in central Bowie County. In the mid-1880s citizens of Texarkana and eastern Bowie County succeeded in a campaign to mark Texarkana the county seat (see old boston, texas). About five years later the citizens of western and central Bowie County were able to get a new election to choose another county seat; they proposed locating the geographic center of the county and building the courthouse there. Their campaign succeeded, and in 1890 construction of a new courthouse began at a site a mile south of New Boston and three miles north of the older city named Boston. Residents applied for a new post office under the name Center, but because a town by that name already existed, the request was denied; the names Hood and Glass were not accepted for the same reason. Because the law required a post office at every county seat, the post office was moved from the original Boston community. The name was transferred also, and the original Boston site became known as Old Boston. The new county seat had a population of 175 by 1896, and its population remained at around that level through the early 1990s. Because of its proximity to the much larger town of New Boston, Boston never developed a substantial commercial base. Through the mid-1980s it had never reported more than five rated businesses; in 1982 it had only two. In 1984, though the city limits of Boston and New Boston touched, the two towns maintained their separate identities and post offices. In 1986 a new Bowie County Courthouse was built in New Boston, but Boston remained the official county seat. The population of Boston was reported at 200 in the early 1990s.
BURKHAM SETTLEMENT, TEXAS. Burkham Settlement was among the earliest Anglo-American settlements in Texas. It was founded by Charles Burkham, his wife, Ann (Abbet), their children, and several other families. According to the 1830 register of the Wavell Red River colony, the Burkham group reached the Red River valley on July 4, 1816. By March 1820 they crossed the Red River to locate permanently at the mouth of Mill Creek, near what became the border of Red River and Bowie counties and a short distance from the Pecan Point settlement. Also among the early settlers were Hudson Posey Benningfield, Henry B. Stout, and Isaac Bateman. The settlement served as a foothold for Anglo-American colonization in the region and paved the way for large-scale settlement of Northeast Texas during the 1820s and 1830s. The area was a stopping point for others entering Texas, including David Crockett, Nathaniel Robbins, and Francis M. Hopkins. As late as the 1930s descendents of the original settlers still lived in the area.
CARBONDALE, TEXAS. Carbondale is on the St. Louis Southwestern Railway ten miles south of Boston in southern Bowie County. It was named for the coal deposits in the area. A post office was established there in 1907 and remained open into the 1950s. In 1925 the reported population was thirty-five. In 1982 the town had thirty residents and no rated businesses. In 1990 the population was still thirty.
COLLEGE HILL, TEXAS. College Hill, seven miles south of DeKalb in southwestern Bowie County, was established in the early 1890s by W. H. Patty, who operated a gin and sawmill. A post office was granted in 1902 but discontinued in 1907. The population of College Hill reached 100 in 1915. In 1938 the school was consolidated with those in eight other communities to form the James Bowie Consolidated District. The building was located in Simms. College Hill had a store and a population of thirty in 1945. In 1984 it had a church, a cemetery, a business, and a few scattered houses. In 1990 the population was 116.
CORLEY, TEXAS. Corley is on the St. Louis Southwestern Railway three miles west of Maud in southern Bowie County. The community was named for John C. Corley, an early settler. A post office was established there in 1882 with J. Carr Turner as postmaster, and by 1884 the town had a sawmill, a gristmill, a gin, a store, a hotel, and a population of seventy-five. By 1890 the community's population had reached 100, but in 1896 it was reported as only fifty. The Corley post office was discontinued in the 1950s. In 1982 the town had a reported population of thirty-five and no rated businesses. In 1990 the population of Corley was still reported as thirty-five.
DALBY SPRINGS, TEXAS. Dalby Springs is a community eleven miles from DeKalb in southwestern Bowie County. It was named for the nearby Dalby Springs, which is the collective name for what was originally four springs . Archeological evidence indicates that the springs were used by prehistoric peoples for thousands of years. In 1687 the French explorer Henri Joutel found the Upper Natchitoches tribe of Caddo Indians living at the springs.
Anglo settlement in the area began in 1839 with the arrival of Warren Dalby and his family. In the 1850s the springs were discovered to have medicinal properties, and as word spread, people began to visit the area to drink from the springs. By the time of the Civil War a community, known as Dalby Springs, had grown up around them. Buildings were erected to accommodate travelers, and in 1860 a post office was established there, with Joseph G. Dalby as postmaster. During the 1870s an observer reported that there were frequently as many as fifty to seventy-five people there to drink the springwater. The same observer claimed that this water was "good for dyspepsia, diseases of the skin and kidneys and also for diseases of females. By 1884 the town had a church, a school, five mills, five gins, and a population estimated at 250. During the 1890s a newspaper called the Guest was published there. By 1900 the community's population had fallen to 186. It continued to be reported at about that level until the 1950s, when it fell to fifty. Although the springs still flowed weakly in the 1980s, by that time several pitcher-pump wells were in use to obtain the water. In 1984 Dalby Springs reported an estimated population of sixty and no rated businesses. In 1990 its population was estimated at 141.
A state historical marker is located at the church that stands south of the springs.
DARDEN, TEXAS (Bowie County). Darden, off U.S. Highway 67 fifteen miles southwest of Boston in southwestern Bowie County, lies in the low hills of the Sulphur Fork of the Red River. The settlement was called Brownstone, for Randolph H. Brown, when it was established on the St. Louis Southwestern Railway of Texas in the late 1890s. A post office was granted to the community in 1911. The office was renamed Darden in 1917, then discontinued in 1927. In 1940 Darden had a store and a population of ten; mail was delivered from Bassett, two miles to the northeast. In 1984 only scattered houses remained in the area.
DEKALB, TEXAS. DeKalb is on the Missouri Pacific Railroad and U.S. Highway 82 twelve miles northwest of New Boston in western Bowie County. It was one of the earliest settlements in the county. According to some county histories a community had begun to take shape in the winter of 1835, when David Crockett visited the site on his way to the Alamo. These sources claim that when Crockett enquired about the name of the town, residents told him it had none and then asked him to name it. He suggested the name of the Prussian Baron de Kalb, a general of the American revolutionary army.
One purpose for founding the community was to establish a school. In fact, several of the early settlers were involved in the successful effort to get the Texas Congress to grant land for the establishment of DeKalb College in 1839. The school, however, seems to have been located several miles south of the community. Because DeKalb was supposed to serve as an educational focal point for surrounding farmers, the owners of the land attempted to restrict settlement to those they considered acceptable. As David Chisholm put it in 1837, "This town or village is situated on Browning's and my land, about one half mile from my house. This land is not to be sold to any Tom, Dick, or Harry to put up dram shops on, but for those who wish to have the river for health or the benefit of the school."
Despite the facts that DeKalb served as the first seat of Bowie County in 1841 and that it was on prime agricultural land, the town grew very slowly. One important cause was the lack of efficient, reliable transportation. When the Texas and Pacific Railway was built through the county in 1876, DeKalb became a station on the rail line and began to grow. By 1884 it had two churches, a school, a gin, a sawmill-gristmill, and a population of 200. By 1890 the town had a population of 500, a bank, and a weekly newspaper, the Flag, edited by L. A. Petit. Afterward, DeKalb grew slowly to a population of 1,023 by the 1930s.
In 1980 it had a population of 2,217. Agriculture remained of vital importance to the local economy, but, whereas cotton had been the dominant area crop during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it had been replaced by vegetables, fruit, livestock, and hay. The town's businesses reflected that change. By the 1970s DeKalb was known for its cannery and its large shipments of tomatoes. Many of its residents were also employed at Red River Army Depot in eastern Bowie County. In 1990 the population was 1,976.
EYLAU, TEXAS. Eylau, five miles southwest of Texarkana in the lumbering section of southeastern Bowie County, was established soon after the battle of San Jacinto by Collin M. Akin, who bought land along the river. A school on his land was consolidated with the Sylar school on the M. H. Jones survey in 1886. The community had a post office from 1885 to 1895. In 1890 the population of Eylau was estimated at thirty. By 1940 Eylau was no longer an organized settlement.
HARTMAN, TEXAS. Hartman was on the St. Louis Southwestern Railway about 3½ miles west of Texarkana in southeastern Bowie County. In the 1930s the community had a school, church, and sawmill. By 1984 Hartman was no longer shown on the county highway map.
HODGSON, TEXAS. Hodgson, five miles southwest of DeKalb in western Bowie County, was named for John J. Hodgson, its first postmaster. Settlement of the farming and lumbering area started around 1836, and a community began to emerge shortly after the Civil War, when Lee E. Harkey built a cotton gin and a sawmill at the site. A post office was opened there in 1893, and by 1896 the town's population was estimated at 180. Later the community declined. Its post office was closed in 1904, and by 1910 its population had fallen to twenty-five. The last available population estimates, made in the 1940s, set the population at thirty-five. In 1984 the community had a church and one business.
HOOKS, TEXAS. Hooks is on U.S. Highway 82 and the Texas Northeastern Railroad thirteen miles west of Texarkana in eastern Bowie County. The town grew up around Warren Hooks's plantation in the late 1830s. Rail service began in 1876. A post office opened in 1884 with James Smith as postmaster. By 1890 the town had three churches, a school, two sawmills, a hotel, and 250 residents. By 1914 it had a bank and a weekly newspaper, the Hooks Herald, published by M. W. West; the population had reached 400. The population declined to 100 by 1925, but a boom in the late 1920s raised it to 350 by 1929. By 1936 it was again reported as 100. Shortly before the United States entered World War II, two large military installations, the Red River Army Depot and the Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant, were constructed just south of the town, spurring growth dramatically. By 1940 the population was reported as 800, and by 1950 it had risen to 2,319, where it remained stable. In 1980 Hooks had a population of 2,507. Most of the labor force was employed at the two military installations. In 1990 the population was 2,684. In 2000 the town had 111 businesses and 2,973 inhabitants.
JOYCE, TEXAS. Joyce, near Maud off present-day U.S. Highway 67 fourteen miles southwest of Texarkana in south central Bowie County, was probably first settled after the Civil War. At its height around 1900 it had a store, a church, and a few houses. When Wright Patman Lake was constructed in the mid-1950s, much of the area was inundated, and the site was abandoned.
LEARY, TEXAS. Leary is on Interstate Highway 30 and the St. Louis Southwestern Railway of Texas, ten miles west of Texarkana in eastern Bowie County. It was named for an early settler, Daniel T. Leary. A post office was established there in 1894 with James T. Wiggins as postmaster and remained in operation until the 1960s. By 1914 the town reported a population of seventy-five. After that, population began to decline, reaching a low of twenty-five by 1925. During World War II two military installations, the Red River Army Depot and the Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant, were built just south of the town, and Leary began to grow again. By 1945 the town had a population of 100 and two rated businesses. By 1954 it had grown to 350. The town was incorporated in 1964. In 1982 Leary had a population of 253 and no rated businesses. Most of its residents were employed at the two military installations. In 1990 the population was 395.
MALTA, TEXAS. Malta is on the Missouri Pacific line and U.S. Highway 82, six miles west of New Boston in northwestern Bowie County. Early settler Lynn Tucker named it for Malta, Illinois. A post office was established there in 1896 with Jeff D. Norman as postmaster. By 1900 the town had a population of 243, which remained at roughly that level until the 1940s, when it began to decline. The post office was discontinued in the 1950s. In 1985 Malta reported an estimated population of eighty-five and no rated businesses. In 1990 its population was 297.
MAUD, TEXAS. Maud is on the St. Louis Southwestern Railway near U.S. Highway 67 ten miles south of Boston in southern Bowie County. The territory around Maud, known before the Republic of Texas era as the Red River Country, was among the earliest settled areas, but Spanish claims to the land, outlaws from the Neutral Ground, and general lawlessness discouraged extensive development. After the railroad reached the site in 1870, a community gradually began to emerge. The town was named for Maud Knapp, daughter of Samuel D. Knapp, the first postmaster and the donor of land for the townsite. A post office opened in 1881, closed the next year, then reopened in 1893. By 1910 the population of the town had reached 300, and by 1940 it had grown to 750. During World War II the Red River Army Depot and the Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant were built six miles north of the community. These two facilities provided jobs for many Maud citizens. In 1982 Maud had eleven rated businesses and an estimated population of 1,059. The two military installations remained the largest employers of Maud residents. In 1990 the community population was 1,049.
MOORES', TEXAS. Moores', also known as Mooresville, was two miles northeast of Redwater off present U.S. Highway 67 in eastern Bowie County. It was named for Col. Charles Moores, on whose property the post office was located in 1841. Methodist circuit minister John W. P. McKenzie organized an early church there in 1842. The post office was discontinued in 1866. Later maps show no evidence of the community.
MOORES' LANDING. Moores' Landing was on the William Crutcher and James B. Floyd surveys on the banks of the Sulphur Fork of the Red River in Bowie County two miles west of the Texas-Arkansas state line. It was named for the Moores family, early settlers in Bowie and Cass counties. During Moores' Landing's existence, the Sulphur Fork carried twenty feet of water and was navigable for at least fifty miles upstream. Moores' Landing lost its importance when the Texas and Pacific railway was completed between Jefferson and Texarkana in 1873. A post office operated from March to September 1874.
NASH, TEXAS (Bowie County). Nash is on U.S. Highway 82 and the Missouri Pacific line, five miles from Texarkana in eastern Bowie County. It emerged in the 1870s around the junction of a branch line of the Texas and Pacific that ran from Marshall, Texas, and the main line, which crossed the county from east to west. Originally the area was referred to as Transcontinental Junction or sometimes as Texarkana Junction. A post office was established in 1884 and named Park for John N. Parker, the first postmaster, but the settlement was still referred to at times by its earlier names. In 1906 the name was changed to Nash, in honor of Manny Nash, the railroad division superintendent. In 1890 the town had a store, a pharmacy, two mills, a cotton gin, and 100 inhabitants. By 1900 its population had reached 487, and for the next fifty years the population level remained fairly stable. In 1914 the population of Nash was 400, and from 1925 through 1950 it was 484. During the 1950s the town was incorporated and began to grow again. It reported a population of 1,124 in the 1960 census. In 1980 Nash had 2,022 residents, many employed either in Texarkana or at one of the two military installations, Red River Army Depot and Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant, located a few miles west of the town. In 1990 the population was 2,162.
NEW BOSTON, TEXAS. New Boston is on U.S. Highway 82 and the Missouri Pacific Railroad twenty-one miles west of Texarkana in the central part of Bowie County. When the railroad was being constructed four miles north of Boston in the summer of 1876, it was clear to many businessmen in Boston (now Old Boston) that their town would suffer a serious decline as a consequence of its distance from the line. At a mass meeting J. H. Smelser, a local resident and surveyor for the railroad, was selected to meet with railroad officials to secure the location of a depot at a point on the line nearest to Boston. The negotiations were successful, and in September 1876 lots were laid out and put up for sale on 100 acres that the railroad had purchased. Because most of those engaged in the project were from Boston, the new town was named New Boston. A post office was established in 1877 with L. C. DeMorse as postmaster. The town grew rapidly. By 1884 it had 400 residents, two churches, a school, several mills and gins, and a newspaper, the New Boston Herald, edited by W. W. West. A furniture factory and another newspaper, the Bowie County Populist, were added in the 1890s.
By 1900 the town had a population of 762. It grew slowly until the late 1920s, when a short-lived boom raised the population from 869 in 1925 to 1,300 in 1929. The population fell to 949 by 1931. During World War II the Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant and the Red River Army Depot were constructed just southeast of New Boston. The two massive military installations were probably responsible for the town's rapid growth in the 1940s. The population grew from 1,111 in 1940 to 2,688 in 1950. In 1980 it reached 4,628. Although a large paper mill and a few smaller factories provided some industrial base for the town, in 1987 New Boston depended heavily on the two military installations for its continued prosperity. The town had 5,057 residents in 1990. On March 4, 1986, a new county courthouse was dedicated in New Boston, but Boston remained the official county seat. The old Bowie County Courthouse, constructed in Boston in 1889 and one of the handsomest in Northeast Texas, was abandoned after construction of the new building. On the night of August 13, 1987, the old courthouse was burned by an arsonist.
OAK GROVE, TEXAS (Bowie County). Oak Grove is on the Missouri Pacific line and U.S. Highway 82 some 4½ miles west of DeKalb in northwestern Bowie County. When the post office was first opened in 1893, the community was called Rolyat, but in 1906 the name was changed because of the beautiful grove of oak trees nearby. In 1914 the town had an estimated population of 200, but by 1925 it had declined to eighty. The post office was discontinued in the 1950s. In 1982 Oak Grove had an estimated population of sixty and no rated businesses.
OLD BOSTON, TEXAS. Old Boston is four miles south of New Boston in south central Bowie County. The town was settled in the early 1830s and named for W. J. Boston, who operated the first store there. When the county was organized in 1841 the community was selected as the county seat. A post office was established there in 1846 with L. D. Vandike as postmaster. The town served farmers throughout the central part of the county, and by the time of the Civil War it was also the residence of a number of wealthy planters who owned plantations along the Red River. It has been estimated that during the 1860s the community's population reached 300 to 400. When the Texas and Pacific Railway was built through the county in 1876, it bypassed Boston to the north by four miles. Area businessmen met with railroad officials and had a station built directly north of Boston. The town of New Boston was laid out on the railroad, and a number of merchants from Boston moved to the new town. By the early 1880s the population of the original Boston had declined to seventy-five. Then, in the mid-1880s, citizens of Texarkana successfully campaigned to have Texarkana made county seat, and by the end of the decade the population of old Boston had fallen to fifty. Another relocation campaign, this time by residents from the central part of the county, proposed a county seat in the county's geographic center. In 1890, when the new courthouse was constructed 2½ miles north of Boston, its post office-still named Boston-was moved. Residents who remained at the original townsite began to call their community Old Boston. In 1984 Old Boston had three churches, two businesses, and a cemetery.
POER, TEXAS. Poer, a rural community of central Bowie County, was settled during the 1830s around the Poer plantation. A post office named for John F. Poer operated from 1897 until 1904. The school was consolidated with the one at Maud in 1900. By 1984 Poer had ceased to exist as a named community.
POPE, TEXAS. Pope was located in northwestern Bowie County near the James Pope land grant twelve miles northwest of DeKalb. The town was settled in the late 1880s; it received a post office in 1894 with Ida B. Hale as postmistress. By 1896 the town had four churches, numerous businesses, and a population of 500. The post office closed in 1904, and by 1984 Pope had ceased to exist as a named community.
RED BANK, TEXAS. Red Bank, ten miles northeast of New Boston in northeastern Bowie County, was settled between 1830 and 1845 and named for the color of the soil in the hilly region. A post office operated there in 1901 and 1902 with James Hubbard as postmaster. In 1984 Red Bank had two businesses, a church, two cemeteries, and scattered houses. It was still listed as a community in 1990.
REDWATER, TEXAS. Redwater is twelve miles southwest of Texarkana in southeastern Bowie County. It grew up in the mid-1870s around a sawmill operated by two men named Daniels and Spence, who named the community Ingersoll, in honor of the agnostic Robert Ingersoll. A post office was established in 1881, and by 1884 the town had an estimated population of fifty. In 1886 a big revival meeting was held in the town, which resulted in about 110 conversions. Shortly after the meeting residents of the town, no longer wishing to honor the agnostic, decided that the name of the town should be changed. They had just completed a new well that yielded red water, and the town was renamed for this feature. The name of the post office was not officially changed until 1894. Although the population of the town swelled to an estimated 300 by 1892, by 1900 it had fallen to 128. It reached 250 in the 1920s. During World War II the Red River Army Depot and Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant were built just north of Redwater, providing thousands of jobs for county residents. The population of Redwater jumped from 250 in the early 1940s to 457 by 1950. In 1982 Redwater had a population of 460 and five rated businesses. In 1990 the population was 894.
SILOAM, TEXAS (Bowie County). Siloam is four miles northwest of Simms in southwestern Bowie County. It was settled before the Civil War. A post office granted in 1895 was discontinued in 1907. The farming and lumbering community had a population of thirty-eight in 1910. From 1933 through 1964 the population of the town was reported as seventy-five. In 1982 Siloam had a population of fifty and no rated businesses. In 1990 the population was still reported as fifty.
SIMMS, TEXAS (Bowie County). Simms is nine miles southwest of Boston in southwestern Bowie County. It was named for G. W. Simms, who played a major role in securing a post office for the town in 1890. In 1892 the town had a gristmill, a gin, a store, and a population of fifty. By 1914 the population had grown to 150. It declined to a low of fifty in the 1930s. The town began to grow again in the 1940s, and in 1982 Simms had a population of 240 and four rated businesses. The population in 1990 was still reported at 240.
SOUTH TEXARKANA, TEXAS. South Texarkana is off Farm Road 558 just south of Texarkana in eastern Bowie County. It grew up after 1900 and was incorporated before 1950. The reported population in 1952 was 316; in 1992 the number of residents had grown to 370.
SPANISH BLUFF. Spanish Bluff is a landmark about six miles northeast of New Boston on the Texas side of the Red River in Bowie County (at 33°31' N, 94°24' W). The name originated with traders or early settlers. Here in 1806 President Thomas Jefferson's Red River expedition was blocked by a Spanish army commanded by Francisco Viana and forced to abort its exploration of the Southwest. Spanish Bluff, an imposing bluff 100 feet high, vegetated with large oaks and pines, stretches nearly half a mile along the south bank before the river swings away from it; it was a well-known landmark on the Red River long before the coming of Europeans. J. R. Swanton believed it was the location of one of the Nanatsoho Caddo divisions during the late precontact and early contact periods. The Nanatsohos were among the most westerly of the Red River Caddos. When the French officer Jean Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe raised the French flag over these villages in 1719, he considered locating his post on the bluff before deciding on a location downriver, within the Kadohadacho-Nasonnite nucleus of villages. Viana's selection of the bluff as a defensive position was based upon military considerations and upon the premise that it marked the Caddo perimeter and therefore the French one. Spanish Bluff became a landmark of importance to the settlers of Northeast Texas. The name was used in boundary descriptions for Clay Township, Hempstead County, Arkansas, in 1819. In 1827 Edmund Pendleton Gaines suggested it as the northern point of a temporary eastern boundary of Texas. It became a place for the rendezvous of parties in search of renegade Indians, and Peter Ellis Bean reported Shawnees living near the bluff in 1830. Spanish Bluff was proposed as a postal station on the route from Washington, Texas, to Jonesboro, Arkansas, in 1835. The bluff became incorporated in the headright land of Texas patriot Richard Ellis in 1838. Today it is associated with Ellis but rarely remembered for the role it played in the early imperial struggle for Texas.
SPRING HILL, TEXAS (Bowie County). Spring Hill is on U.S. Highway 259 seven miles north of DeKalb in northwestern Bowie County. In the 1930s the town reported a population of ten and two rated businesses. In 1945 it had one business and a population of forty. In 1984 Spring Hill had a sawmill, two churches, a cemetery, and a school. In 1990 the population was 209.
SULPHUR, TEXAS. Sulphur was on the eastern division of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and the Sulphur River ten miles south of Texarkana in southeastern Bowie County. It was probably settled in the early 1870s, when the Texas and Pacific Railway was being built. When a post office was established there in 1874 with L. C. Leeds as postmaster, it was named Sulphur Station. By 1884 the village was said to contain a gristmill, and lumber, shingle, and planing mills. The population was reported as 300. This was the highest population estimate ever recorded for Sulphur Station. In 1890 and 1896 the population was estimated at 100. The post office was discontinued in 1899, and no further population reports are available. By 1936 the settlement, which consisted of a few widely scattered houses, was being referred to as Sulphur; it may have been the site of a post office called Sulphur that operated in 1903 and 1904. By 1984 Sulphur had ceased to exist as a named community.
TEXARKANA, TEXAS. Texarkana is at the junction of Interstate 30 and U.S. highways 59, 67, 71, and 82 in extreme northeastern Texas on the Texas-Arkansas border. It was named for its location on the state line between Bowie County, Texas, and Miller County, Arkansas, only a short distance above the Louisiana boundary. The three parts of its name honor the three states. There is some debate about the actual origins of the name, which was in use some time before the town's founding. According to one tradition, the name was derived from a steamboat known as the Texarkana, which plied the water of the Red River as early as 1860. Others claim that a man named Swindle, who ran a general store in Red Land, Bossier Parish, Louisiana, manufactured a drink called "Texarkana Bitters." Yet another story claims that when the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad was building its line through the area, Col. Gus Knobel, who made the survey, coined the name and erected a large sign at the site. The strategic position of Texarkana is the keynote to its history and development. The Great Southwest Trail, for hundreds of years the main line of travel from Indian villages of the Mississippi River country to those of the South and West, passed by a Caddo Indian village on the site that later became Texarkana. Seventy Indian mounds, reminders of Caddo occupation and culture, are within a radius of thirty miles of Texarkana. Texarkana has remained a gateway to the Southwest. When the builders of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad crossed Arkansas in the late 1850s and by 1874 pushed their rails beyond the Red River to the border line of Texas, they met there the rail head that had been extended to the state line by the builders of the Texas and Pacific. The road from the south bank of Red River was completed on January 15, 1874, to the state line, where the city of Texarkana had been established on December 8, 1873, at the site where the two roads would join. The Texas and Pacific Railway Company laid out the Texas side of the town. The plat included land from the railroad yards to Seventh Street, and west from the state line to Deutschmann's Canal. The first business, a combination drug and grocery store operated by George M. Clark, opened on December 8, 1873. In 1876 Texarkana, Texas, was granted a charter under an act of the state legislature.
State Line Avenue, the town's main street, was laid out exactly along the dividing line between the two states. Initially the town had only a single post office, on the Arkansas side of the town. Those living on the Texas side requested a post office of their own. Postal officials granted the request, and a post office, known as Texarkana, Texas, operated from 1886 to 1892, when it was closed. For some time after that the post office was known as Texarkana, Arkansas, until Congressman John Morris Sheppard secured a postal order changing the name officially to Texarkana, Arkansas-Texas. By 1896 Texarkana had a waterworks, an electric light plant, five miles of streetcar lines, gas works, four daily and weekly newspapers, an ice factory, a cotton compress, a cotton oil mill, a sewer system, brick schools, two foundries, a machine shop, a hotel, and a population of 14,000. In 1907 Texarkana, Texas, was accorded city status, and granted a new charter. By 1925 the Texas side of the town had a population of 11,480, many of whom worked for one of the railroads or in processing agricultural products. During the Great Depression of the early 1930s the number of businesses declined from 840 in 1931 to 696 in 1936, but the town's economic fortunes recovered by the early 1940s, buoyed in part by the construction of Red River Army Depot and the Lone Star Army Ammunition plant. In 1948 Texarkana, as the junction of four important railroad systems with eight outlets, was one of the major railroad centers of the Southwest. The city was also important as a commercial and industrial center. The industries have been built around three natural resource-a rich timbered area, fertile agricultural lands, and abundant and diversified mineral deposits.
While commercially one city, Texarkana consists of two separate municipalities, aldermanic in form, with two mayors and two sets of councilmen and city officials. There is a cooperative arrangement for the joint operation of fire department, food and dairy inspection, sewage disposal, environmental sanitation, and supervised recreational programs. The Federal Building has the distinction of being the only building of its kind situated in two states. The entire city in 1952 had a population of 40,490, the Texas portion reporting 24,657. The town continued to prosper during the post-World War II era. By 1960 the total population reached 50,006 (30,218 in Texas and 19,788 in Arkansas). The population for the entire metropolitan area in that year was 91,657 (59,971 in Bowie County, Texas, and 31,686 in Miller County, Arkansas). In 1970 the area population was 101,198, with 67,813 in Bowie County, Texas, and 33,385 in Miller County, Arkansas. The population of Texarkana that year was 52,179, with 30,497 persons living on the Texas side and 21,682 residents on the Arkansas side. The economy of this northeast Texas area has continued to grow at a steady pace, with more emphasis towards industry. The average annual agricultural income for the Texas section was between $12 million and $13 million by 1970. Crops raised included cotton, corn, rice, soybeans, pecans, and truck crops; livestock and poultry accounted for 75 percent of the farm income. Industries in the area included the manufacture and marketing of lumber products, sewer tile, rockwool, sand and gravel, mobile homes and accessories, municipal hardware supplies, tires, railroad tank cars, and paper products. Also of great importance to the economy of the entire area is a federal correctional unit there. Retail trade, like the industrial growth, continued to increase steadily. The city of Texarkana is the transportation, commercial, and industrial center for this Texas-Arkansas area, as well as the hub for portions of Oklahoma and Louisiana; it is also the educational, cultural, and medical center of the metropolitan area. Texarkana College, a fully accredited junior college, includes the William Buchanan Department of Nursing. The Civic Music Association, with patrons from the entire metropolitan area, brings in artists of national and international fame. Texarkana serves the area with three major hospitals and several modern clinics. Supplying water for industrial development are Wright Patman Lake and the Millwood Reservoir in Arkansas. Both are also important recreational sites. The Texarkana area holds an annual Four States Fair and Rodeo, plus other rodeos, band festivals, and a Miss Texarkana Pageant. In 1992 Texarkana had a total population of 120,132, 31,656 of whom lived on the Texas side.
WAKE VILLAGE, TEXAS. Wake Village is an incorporated town just west of Texarkana on U.S. Highway 67 in eastern Bowie County. It was founded in 1944 or early 1945 to house workers from the nearby Red River Army Depot and Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant, and was evidently named for Wake Island, a site of bitter fighting during World War II. The community incorporated soon after its founding, and by the early 1950s the population had reached 1,066. Since that time Wake Village continued to grow steadily, and in 1991 it had a population of 4,413. Most of the residents worked at the nearby army installations or in Texarkana.
WAMBA, TEXAS. Wamba, near the Red River five miles northwest of Texarkana in eastern Bowie County, is in an area that was occupied by squatters as early as the 1830s but not actually settled before the 1850s. A post office opened in 1897 with Laurel B. Fort as postmaster and was discontinued in 1916. The population of Wamba was reported as fifty in 1910 and as forty in 1940. In 1982 and 1990 Wamba had a population of seventy and no rated businesses.
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