COTTON IN TEXAS
Production, Gins, Scales and Cotton-Related Articles
before oil, cattle, and timber, cotton was the Texas economy. Only
ten years after Moses Austin received his first grant of land, cotton
made up $353,000 of the $500,000 of exports that year.
When Southerners moved to Texas, they planted what they knew - cotton.
During the Civil War it was Texas cotton moved to Mexico down the
"cotton road" that provided the only lifeline to the Confederacy.
After the civil war former slaves became free sharecroppers - but
the crop still remained cotton.
From .31 per pound in 1865 to only .05 per pound in 1898, cotton prices
ruled the Texas economy.
By 1910 half of everything planted in Texas was cotton. By 1928 they
had figured out how to irrigate the Panhandle and 17,000,000 more
acres were planted.
Here are personal stories of cotton picking and images of artifacts
of the cotton industry in Texas. Cotton Gins, harvesters, scales,
boll burners, and warehouses. Cotton festivals, "first bale" celebrations
and cotton "as art" in murals and architectural details.
Boll Weevil by Archie P. McDonald
Tex Ritter sang this lament decades ago:
“Oh, the boll weevil is a little black bug, come from Mexico they
say, come all the way to Texas, just looking for a place to stay,
just looking for a home, just looking for a home.” And the weevil,
actually a beetle, found it, much to the chagrin of East Texas cotton
Picking by Mike Cox
Cotton from Bastrop to Matagorda by Mike Cox
Bandits Hijack Cotton in Civil War Texas by Mike Cox
Cotton Pickin’ Theater by Bob Bowman
At Point, a small town of some 700 souls in northern Rains county...,
a sturdy old gin has found a new life as an entertainment venue
that draws crowds from all over East Texas and performers like Mark
Chestnut, Pee Wee Walker, and Gary Busey...
cotton gin gets a new life by Bob Bowman
Thanks to the Depot Museum at Henderson, a cotton gin has now taken
its place among other relics of the past
in a Bale by Mike Cox
No ginning story can top the occasional tale of a body in a bale.
by Mike Cox
Cotton, the economic life blood of Texas and the Confederacy, soon
made its way to Bagdad by riverboat, ship or ox-drawn wagons. From
the Mexican port, it could be shipped to Britain and other European
Bonaparte Wiess by W. T. Block
Steamboat Captain and Confederate Soldier.
The epics of William and Napoleon Wiess, which contributed to the
cotton steamboat history of East Texas.
Farming in Verhalen, Texas
Where Cotton Reigned King
Buick Pickup Truck by George Leste
We had cotton plants growing on either side of the Buick
Days in Flomot
Where Cotton Reigned King
by Kelly McMichael Stott
Photographs Courtesy of
The Ellis County Historical Museum
The Making of America Series.
gin in oil
by Boyer Gonzales, Jr., c. 1937.
Anyone knowing the location, please Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- James and Kimel Baker