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ARP, TEXAS

Smith County, East Texas

Highway 135
18 Miles SE of Tyler
16 Miles SW of Kilgore
17 Miles NW of Henderson
Population: 992 (2010)

Arp, Texas Area Hotels > Tyler Hotels
Downtown Arp Texas
Downtown Arp
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, January 2006

History in a Pecan Shell

The area was settled in the late 1860s, although things didn't really get going until the International-Great Northern Railroad came through in 1872 and made this stop on their line "Jarvis Switch." Growth was non-existant to slow until 1897 when truck farmer J. W. Melton relocated from Troup, Texas and started shipping tomatoes. A post office was granted in 1898 as "Strawberry, Texas" but this name only lasted a year. It was renamed for a newspaper editor named William Arp. (See Naming Arp by Bob Bowman)

By 1902 Arp had three churches, no fewer than five general stores, a drugstore and physician. Arp grew as a vegetable and fruit shipping point for area farmers and became the postal connection for Omen, Texas when their post office closed in 1906.

By 1914 the town had a population of nearly 400. Omen, Texas continued to decline and even their Masonic lodge moved to Arp. In 1931 oil was discovered and Arp became the headquarters for The McMurry Refining Company. The population reached it's high-water mark in the mid 1930s with 2,500 citizens but as the Great Depression wound down, so did the population - reaching about 1,000 by the end of the decade. It was still at that level in the 1960s, even though the number of businesses had declined by half. In 1989 there were just over 1,000 residents which declined to 812 by 1990.

Naming Arp

by Bob Bowman
Few towns have a name as simple and short as Arp, which sits on a railroad line and Texas Highway 135 eighteen miles southeast of Tyler in Smith County... How Arp got its name remains a mystery of sorts... more
Arp TX Closed Piggly Wiggly
Piggly Wiggly Ghost Sign
Photo courtesy Lori Martin, 2012
More Texas Ghost Signs
Arp TX Church

Church in Arp
Photo courtesy Lori Martin, 2012
More Texas Churches

Arp TX - Abandoned Gas Station
Abandoned Gas Station
Photo courtesy Lori Martin, 2012
More Texas Gas Stations
Arp TX Ruins
Ruins
Photo courtesy Lori Martin, 2012
TX - Arp Calaboose
Arp Calaboose
By Bill Moore
Arp, Texas Area Towns:
Tyler
Kilgore
Henderson
See Smith County
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