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 Texas : Towns / East Texas : Beckville

BECKVILLE, TEXAS

Panola County, East Texas
Highway 149, FM 124 and FM 959
8 miles NE of Carthage

Population: 752 (2000)

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Beckville, Texas  library and museum
Beckville library and museum

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
, April 2006

History in a Pecan Shell

Named after early settler Matthew W. Beck who arrived sometime around 1850, the community was once a mile east of the present location. A post office opened in the late 1850s when the population was estimated at 75. The Texas, Sabine Valley and Northwestern Railroad was headed straight toward Beckville, but local landowners jacked up the price of a right-of-way to the point where the railroad decided to build a mile south where landowner Joe Biggs was more amenable.

The original townsite was deserted as people and businesses relocated to the new townsite. In 1889 the first school was built. By 1914 the population was up to 750. A fire in 1917 destroyed buildings in downtown Beckville, and the region suffered a drought in 1927. The population reached 880 people just as the Great Depression was beginning and the population fell to just 453. The population remained at that level for decades. It had increased to 783 in the early 1990s and has since decreased to 752.

Beckville, Texas post office
Post Office

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
, April 2006
Carthage : Music from two country masters
(Excerpted from "THE EAST TEXAS SUNDAY DRIVE BOOK" by Bob Bowman)

"...
Back on Texas 43, return to Tatum, take Texas 149 southeast to the settlement of Beckville, which was founded before the l880s by Matthew W. Beck, who settled in the area about l850. The town was originally established about a mile north of its present site but was moved in l887 to be near the railroad.

At Beckville, take FM 124 and proceed in a southerly direction until you come to the community of Fair Play at the intersection with U.S. 79..." more

Beckville, Texas
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