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    COVINGTON, TEXAS

    A One Man Town
    Hill County, North Central Texas
    Highway 171
    12 miles N of Hillsboro

    Population: 282 (2000)

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    Downtown Covington Texas
    Downtown Covington
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson,
    April 2006
    History in a Pecan Shell

    James J. Gathings was a Mississippian who arrived in Texas in 1852 and bought thousands of acres of land in the region. Using slaves, Gathings ran successful farm and ranching operations, setting aside 100 acres for what would become the town of Covington. He platted the town and offered free lots to temperate families as long as they agreed to build a home and a school. The town was named after his wife's maiden name.

    In 1855 Gathings became postmaster of Covington and together with his brother Philip, they founded Gathings College in the early 1860s. By 1870 Gathings's population was nearing 500 and the school continued in operation until 1885.

    The town was in economic peril when it was bypassed by the Katy Railroad in 1904 but saved when the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railroad built through. Covington prospered for the next 30 years and the town's prosperity was only ended by the onset of the Great Depression. The Trinity and Brazos Valley discontinued the stop at Covington and war time growth of Waco and Fort Worth drained off population as highways improved. From a population of 450 in 1945 it fell to less than 300 by the late 1980s.
    CovingtonTexas post office
    The post office
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson,
    April 2006
    See Texas Post Offices | Post Office Murals
    Hill County TX 1920 Map
    1920 Hill County map showing Covington
    (Above "HI" in "HILL")
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic/contemporary photos, please contact us.

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