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  Texas : Towns A-Z / Central Texas South :

SMILEY, TEXAS

Gonzales County, Central Texas S
Highway 87
FM 3234 and 108
21 miles South of Gonzales
Population 453(2000) 463(1990)

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Smiley Texas
Smiley water tower
Photo courtesy Jim & Lou Kinsey, April 2005
History in a Pecan Shell

John Smiley was a sheepherder who settled on a lake in the vicinity in the early 1870s. The lake became known as Smiley’s Lake – and older Gonzales County residents knew Smiley as Smiley’s Lake. By the turn of the century – only the name Smiley appeared on maps.

Cattle herds driven to market watered at the lake. Businesses soon sprang up to cater to the drovers and by the 1880s – a town was born.

A post office opened in 1884 and within two years Smiley became Gonzales County’s number three city. By 1896 the community had several hundred residents.

In 1905, the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway came through the area north of “old” Smiley.

The town incorporated in 1911 but was devastated by a fire that same year. By the 1920s Smiley had an estimated population of 600. In the 1930s and 1940s it became well-known as a poultry-processing center.

In 1964 the population fell just below 500 and remained at that level for the next 35 years.

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Smiley, Texas Forum

Anyone with stories, memories or photos of Smiley, Texas, please contact us.

© John Troesser
 
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