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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Central Texas North :

TOURS, TEXAS

McLennan County, North Central Texas
FM 3149
17 Miles NE of Waco
Population: 100 (2000)

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McLennan County Texas - Tours Church
St. Martin's Church
Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008

History in a Pecan Shell

In the 1870s the State of Texas was placing ads in northern papers, enticing people to come to Texas. One such ad lured a group of German Catholics who traveled from Teutopolis, Illinois by wagon train. Their arrival fell on the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, which makes it easy to remember the town’s founding (November 11, 1874). The site, which had been “school land” owned by the state was first called St. Martinsville. It wasn’t until 1891 when a post office was applied for that the citizens of St. Martinsville found another Texas town (in East Texas) was already using that name. Their second choice, Tours (after the French city where St. Martin was Bishop) was submitted and accepted.

St. Martin's Church was built in 1890 and the town had four general stores, two blacksmiths, two saloons and 2 gins. By the mid 1890s, Tours had retained five businesses although the population of that time was a mere 45 residents.

It was determined that the population didn’t warrant a post office, so in 1905 the doors were shut. Thereafter, mail was delivered through West, Texas.

In the middle of the Great Depression, tours managed to retain 61 people, although it rose to 150 (estimated) by 1941.

After WWII, Tours’ population leveled out at 100 and has remained there ever since. Tours has become a bedroom community for Waco and / or West, Texas with local farmers working in those towns and tending to their crops in late afternoon and on weekends.
McLennan County Texas - Tours  barn
Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
McLennan County Texas - Tours  barn
Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
McLennan County Texas - Tours  Texas  mural
Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
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