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CUMBY, TEXAS
AKA Black Jack Grove

Hopkins County, East Texas
5 Miles N of Interstate 30
About 16 Miles W of Sulphur Springs
Population: 790 (2010) 616 (2000)

Cumby, Texas Area Hotels > Sulphur Springs Hotels

History in a Pecan Shell

D. W. “Wash” Cole settled here in the early 1840s. Originally called Black Jack Grove, the site had served as a Texas Ranger camp during the Republic. It had a post office granted in 1848.

In the early 1850s, the land was purchased by storekeeper John D. Matthews. Matthews also sold town lots and gave a plot for the building of a Masonic Lodge.

From February of 1857 to May of 1858, the post office was known as Theodocias. It reverted back to Black Jack Grove after that.

Volunteers from Black Jack Grove a company of the 9th Texas Cavalry distinguished itself at the battle of Elkhorn Ridge.

The community became one of those rowdy towns that discouraged the preferred class of settler. The “sporting” group held sway, despite (or because of) a healthy economy. In 1866 a gunfight took the lives of five men over a racing bet.

The railroad arrived in the form of the East Line and Red River Railway in 1880 and with it came “civilization” and a change of name to shed its reputation. Former Confederate Robert H. Cumby became the permanent namesake of the community.

Early population figures are unavailable, but the town grew and prospered. It peaked in the late 1920s with a population just over 900. It survived the Great Depression but not without a population decrease. It hit bottom around 1970 with just over 400 residents. The 1980 census showed nearly 650, but falling again to 571 for the 1990 count. The 2000 census counted 616 residents.

Texas 1920s Hopkins County Map
1920s Hopkins County Map showing Cumby
(Western Hopkins County. Near Hunt County line)
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
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