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ALTON, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Denton County, North Central Texas

Less than a mile from Corinth
A few miles SE of Denton
Inquire locally not on state map
Population: 0

Alton, Texas Area Hotels > Denton Hotels
TX - Old Alton Chapel
Old Alton Chapel
Photo courtesy Eilish Mangnall, February 2016
History in a Pecan Shell

For a town that no longer exists, Alton has a fascinating history. In 1848 the Texas legislature decided that Alton would become the county seat of government for Denton County, replacing the community of Pinckneyville.

Present-day Corinth is less than a mile from what was the first town to be named Alton. The county seat was occupied by a single resident (W. C. Baines) for three years and the lack of potable water was one reason for this. This problem was settled by the state legislature in 1850 by designating a new site on Hickory Creek (five miles south of present-day Denton).

The new site retained the name and submitted an application for a post office. A hotel and two stores soon appeared, but the location was unsatisfactory for a majority of Denton County residents. In 1856 they petitioned for yet another county seat, one with better water and more centrally located.

In late 1856 they held an election and decided to accept an offer by three businessmen who were to provide 100 acres of land for Denton Countys permanent county seat. The new site was named Denton and Alton became a historical footnote and ghost town.
TX - Old Alton Cemetery
The Old Alton Cemetery
Photo courtesy Eilish Mangnall, February 2016
Historical Marker:

Old Alton Cemetery

With burials dating to 1852, this graveyard is associated with some of the earliest settlement in Denton County. In that year, Rebecca Daugherty, daughter of one of the pioneer families, died and was buried on family property. Over time, burials of neighbors and relatives continued on the site, and in 1909 the land was donated and dedicated as a private cemetery.

Alton was the county seat of Denton County from 1851 until 1856. Located on Hickory Creek, the community flourished with stores, a hotel, post office, school and other businesses. Nearby is the Hickory Creek Baptist Church, organized in the Alton community in 1855. When the county seat was moved to Denton in 1856, Alton began to decline, but many families continued to bury their dead in this cemetery.

The graveyard contains more than 600 burials, including 20 graves that are unmarked and 55 burials that are marked only with rocks or sandstone. Pioneers, veterans and others with ties to the old Alton community rest here. The Old Alton Memorial Cemetery Association cares for the graves and gathers annually in the spring for Decoration Day. As the area becomes more urban, the Old Alton Cemetery stands as a reminder of the region's rural past.
(2002)
TX - Old Alton Cemetery historical marker
Old Alton Cemetery Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Eilish Mangnall, February 2016
TX - Old Alton Chapel
Old Alton Chapel
Photo courtesy Eilish Mangnall, February 2016
TX - Old Alton Chapel
Photo courtesy Eilish Mangnall, February 2016

Alton / Old Alton

Photographer's Note:
"I found your site a few years ago and I love reading about Texas ghost towns! I read about Alton and realized I've lived 5 minutes from it for most of my life! I go to high school right across from the cemetery and church. My house might even be where an old one stood!

I go to the bridge all the time as well. I always call the bridge Old Alton bridge. I never made the connection that Alton and Old Alton were the same place when I was reading this! The bridge is often referred to as Goat Man's bridge and there are rumors it is haunted. Thanks for letting me share!" - Eilish Mangnall, March 14, 2016

The Old Alton Bridge

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Old Alton Bridge, Denton County, Texas
Photos courtesy Lexie Nichols and Jordan Gibson, 2007
Photographer's Note: "The bridge was built in 1884 and crosses Hickory creek. The settlement is a few miles southeast of Denton."
- Lexie Nichols and Jordan Gibson, October 2007
Old Alton Bridge over Hickory Creek, Denton County, Texas
Photos courtesy Lexie Nichols and Jordan Gibson, 2007
More Texas Bridges
Hickory Creek, Denton County, Texas
View of Hickory Creek from the Old Alton Bridge
Photo courtesy Lexie Nichols and Jordan Gibson, 2007

Alton TX - Denton County 1850s Postmark
Alton TX - Denton County 1850s Postmark
Postcard cancelled with Alton 1850s postmark
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection

Alton, Texas
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