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DOWNSVILLE, TEXAS

McLennan County, North Central Texas
FM 434
About 8 Miles SE of Waco

Population: 00150 (2000)


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History in a Pecan Shell

The community dates from the 1850s when William Woods Downs owned the land. After slavery was abolished, Downs presented each family a house with land. The former slaves founded the Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church in 1866.

With the arrival of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass (SAAP) Railroad in the late 1890s, prospects toward permanence looked good. In 1890 residents of the area received their mail from a post office officially known as Price. In 1890 the community was belatedly renamed for William Downs’ generosity.

In short order, Downsville had a general store and two groceries as well as three flour mills. The population stood at 100 – a respectable number for that era.

From 1900 through the late 1940s the population was given as 134. Growth was stymied by the community’s proximity to Waco. It lost its post office in 1907.

By 1950, the population was halved to 50 and it declined to a mere 35 by the mid 1960s and rail service was lost in 1967. In recent years Downsville has seen an increase and for the 2000 census, 150 residents were counted.

McLennan County Texas 1907 Postal map
1907 McLennan County postal map showing Downsville
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 photos, please contact us.

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