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    BEN WHEELER, TEXAS

    Van Zandt County, Central Texas N / East Texas
    Highway 64, FM 279 and FM 858
    12 Miles SE of Canton

    Population: 400 (2000)

    Ben Wheeler, Texas Area Hotels > Canton Hotels
    Ben Wheeler TX - Moon Pie and Royal Crown Cola sign
    "Moon Pie and Royal Crown Cola"
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2011
    History in a Pecan Shell
    Originally, the land that is now Ben Wheeler was once in Henderson County. Settled in the 1840s, the town was first called Clough after George W. Clough, the first postmaster whose house was used as the post office. The office opened in1876 but was renamed two years later after Ben Wheeler who was the mail carrier for the Tyler to Buffalo mail route.

    George Clough decided to build another community which included the post office, a store, church and school. This was to known as Georgetown, but Williamson County had already claimed that name. The post office was granted permission to move, but the old name had to be retained.

    The new town of Ben Wheeler had most essential businesses and was off to a good start. But a devastating fire burned most of the communityís commercial structures.

    By the mid-1890s the town had a respectable population of 500 but a smallpox epidemic reduced that number by half. A grocery store opened in 1905. Ben Wheeler continued to prosper and by 1933 was headed back to its old population figures. For 1933 the county was 375 residents.

    As the cotton crop was reduced by the boll weevil and prices fell, desperate farmers experimented with vegetable farming. This wasnít as successful as first thought, so local farmers started raising livestock in the mid 1950s.


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    Ben Wheeler TX - restaurant
    Downtown Ben Wheeler
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2011
    Ben Wheeler TX - Lodge & Post Office

    Former Post Office / Masonic Lodge
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2011
    More Texas Post Offices / Texas Lodges

    Ben Wheeler TX - shops
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2011
    TX - Ben Wheeler road sign
    Approaching Ben Wheeler
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2011
    Van Zandt County TX 1920s Map
    Van Zandt County 1920s Map showing Ben Wheeler
    (
    SE of Canton)
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office
    Texas Escapes' 2800th Town

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

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