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MART, TEXAS

McLennan County, North Central Texas
State Highway 164 and FM 939
22 miles W of Groesbeck
About 18 Miles E of Waco
Population: 2,273 (2000)


Mart, Texas Area Hotels > Waco Hotels
Mart TX - Cotton Scene
Cotton Scene in Mart
Courtesy Will Beauchamp Collection

History in a Pecan Shell

Settlement here began just after the Civil War and the community was originally known as Willow Springs. Since that name was already in use, the people chose Mart when they applied for a post office (which opened in 1880). Their hope was that the name would be prophetic and their town would become a regional commercial hub.

In the mid 1880s, Mart had a population of 150 people. The railroad was rather late in reaching Mart. It wasn’t until 1900 when the IG&N (International and Great Northern) connected Marlin with Waco.

The town incorporated in 1901, the same year a school district was organized and the first bank opened. Two more banks opened (1904 and 1909). Mart was ahead of most towns its size with paved roads, electricity and telephone service.

Between1900 and 1910, the population jumped from a mere 300 residents to nearly 3,000 (2,939 to be exact). By 1914 businesses included an ice factory and two newspapers.

Although the Great Depression merged two banks, for the most part, Mart glided through the Great Depression. However, when the railroad discontinued passenger service, the blow was a hard one.

Residents leaving in search of jobs reduced the population from its peak of 3,800 (1929) to 2,853 as the Great Depression gathered momentum.

The 1950 population was reduced to 2,273 and the 1970 population was recorded as 2,183.

In the 1970s the railroad cut all service, depriving the town of a substantial cash influx.

The population was 2,031 in the late 1970s but rebounded to 2,324 in 1982. The 1990 census counted 2,004 residents that increased to 2,273 by 2000.
Mart Texas Downtown Building
A building in downtown Mart
TE photo, June 2003
Mart Tx - 1st Baptist Church
First Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2010
More Texas Churches
Mart Tx - Display Caboose
Display Caboose
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2010
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Texas Railroads
Mart, Texas Post Office Mural – McLennan Looking for a Home, 1939 by Jose Aceves
See Mart, Texas Post Office Mural >
"McLennan Looking for a Home", 1939 by Jose Aceves
Mart, Texas post office
Mart Post Office
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2010
More Texas Post Offices
Mart Post Office cornerstone
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2010
More Texas Corner Stones
Mart Tx city limit
Mart city limit, McLennan County line
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2010
Mart, Texas Area Towns:
Groesbeck
Waco
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