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Delta County TX
Delta County


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BEN FRANKLIN, TEXAS

Delta County, Central Texas North

33° 28' 35" N, 95° 46' 7" W (33.476389, -95.768611)
FM 38 and FM 128
4 Miles NE of Pecan Gap
About 11 Miles N of Cooper
16 Miles SW of Paris
77 Miles NE of Dallas
Population: 75 est. (2010, 2000, 1990)

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Ben Franklin TX - Main Street Welcome
Ben Franklin old photo, date unknown
Click on image to enlarge

Photo courtesy Ginger Andrews

History in a Pecan Shell

Settled in 1835, the community got its post office (in Issac Nelson’s cabin) in 1853 when it was hardly more than the juncture of two roads. The post office closed in 1859 but was reestablished eight years later.

In 1870 the towns first livery stable was opened and its owner B. F. Nidever started a stage line to Cooper. The population reached 200 by 1884 with all essential businesses in place – including a restaurant.

In 1886 the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway came through just north of the town and three years later the town became a stop. The population swelled to 1,000 by 1890 and businesses grew to include two new hotels by 1892.

The Texas-Midland Railroad arrived in Delta County in 1895 to serve other towns and this diminished both Ben Franklin’s status and economy.

The population fell to just 343 by 1904 and only two businesses survived. By the mid 1920s the decline settled at 300 residents – but the remaining two businesses had closed their doors.

1929 showed an increase in population (500 residents) and new businesses opened. Postwar departures for better jobs left Ben Franklin with a mere 150 people by the mid 1960s.

The current (2017) estimated population of 75 has been used since 1990.
Ben Franklin Texas Post Office
Ben Franklin, TX 75415
Photo courtesy Mike Price, April 2008
More Texas Post Offices
Ben Franklin Texas United Methodist Church
Ben Franklin United Methodist Church
Photo courtesy Mike Price, April 2008
More Texas Churches
Ben Franklin Texas Old Store
Photo courtesy Mike Price, April 2008
Ben Franklin Texas old Gas Station
Photo courtesy Mike Price, April 2008
More Texas Gas Stations
Ben Franklin Texas City Limit sign
Photo courtesy Mike Price, April 2008
Ben Franklin Texas Giles Academy Marker
Giles Academy Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Mike Price, April 2008
Historical Marker:

Giles Academy

Early settlers, who came to this area from Giles County, Tenn., founded an academy at this site in 1859. Hired fellow-Tennessean Thomas Hart Benton Hockaday (1835 - 1918) as the first teacher, and named the new school in memory of their southern Tennessee homeland. Hockaday taught at Giles until his enlistment in the Confederate Army in 1862, and after the Civil War for several years before moving to Fannin County in 1870s. He presented a curriculum emphasizing arithmetic, reading the classics, and uses of the English language. (His daughter, Ela Hockaday, 1876 - 1956) founded the well-known Hockaday School for Girls in Dallas in 1913.) School expenses, including teachers' salaries, were paid by parents of the students.

A small community center, with a blacksmith shop, general merchandise store, and church, grew up around the large log schoolhouse. After the organization of common school districts in Texas in 1883, the Academy became Giles School, District No. 4. The old log house was replaced with a frame structure in 1886. A more modern building, erected on this site in 1924, was badly damaged by a tornado in 1936. The Giles School never reopened, and its students were distributed between the Ben Franklin and Pecan Gap schools. (1973)

Take a road trip

Ben Franklin, Texas Nearby Towns:
Cooper | Paris | Dallas
See Delta County | Central Texas North

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