Pie and Royal Crown Cola"|
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, October 2011
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.
new town of Ben Wheeler had most essential businesses and was off to a good start.
But a devastating fire burned most of the community’s commercial structures.
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 wasn’t as successful as first thought, so local farmers started raising livestock
in the mid 1950s.
Canton Hotels >
Zandt County 1920s Map showing Ben Wheeler|
(SE of Canton)
Texas General Land Office
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