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Some Texas Towns That Were
(Gregg County)

From the Dallas News   April 1909
Reprinted in the Times- Clarion  April 8, 1909

The "tragedies" of Fredonia, Earpville, Danville, Bulwar Landing and Starrville are related in this article.

"When a railroad is build through a section of country it is generally credited with improving that section, and its promoters are called public benefactors.  The survyors drive stakes along the proposed route; the
land men secure rights of way, the laborers with the construction train follow, grading and filling and stringing crossties along its mileage;  steel is laid, stations are built, and as always, towns spring up about
the stations.

Pretty much everyone knows this, but now give thought to the tragedies enacted by such railroad building, with small towns the victims---little settlements, some maybe of importance, that the railroad has of necessity ignored and that now are without hope; some even having reverted to the original prairie grass with a few holes and piles of stone to mark where once stood a town.

Texas is full of such tragedies.  They are almost too numerous to mention.  Take, for instance, the towns around Longview.  When the Gould roads built through that section their path was strewn with the remains of little towns.  People left them to go to towns on the railroad.

There was the town of Fredonia.  Thirty five years ago it stood just where the iron bridge today spans the Sabine. It had 400 or 500 people, some 14 business houses and other improvements that go to make a town.

Now, as a Longview citizen say, "It's just woods."  The old steamboat landings are there and can still be used.  The site of the town is marked by wells and heaps of stone, and the undergrowth has crept in and claimed the site for its own.

Then inside the present limits of Longview, there remains what is left of Earpville, which before the war, was a thrifty settlement with a hotel, post office, store, blacksmith shop and other town features.

Then there was Danville, 13 miles southwest of Longview.  The ground is being tilled where once 10 or 12 stores transacted a lively business, and practically all that remains is a church and graveyard and the old
Masonic hall.  This was a thriving town before the war.

And there was Bulwar Landing, the nearest point to Longview.  There was once a store and post office there, blacksmith shop and other industries.  The docks that were used in the days of river transportation could still be used, but the town has gone and the International & Great Northern bridge crosses the river where it stood.

Starville, also close to Longview, (NOTE:  Starville is in Smith County), is still a town between Gladewater and Tyler on the old Marshall and Tyler stage road, but the post office is covered by a rural free delivery route from Big Sandy.

And these are but a few of the tragedies.  Old-timers speak of settlements up and down the river.  The names of which have in many cases been forgotten, and which are now just as they were before a nail was driven in a plant by their builders.

The situation is common pretty much all over the state, and it has come to be regarded as a foregone conclusion that the coming of the railroad, which battering the many, must at the same time, bring tragedy to the few. for such is the way of life."



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