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GALLATIN, TEXAS

Cherokee County, East Texas
FM 22 and 768
6 miles N of Rusk
4 miles W of Ponta
10 miles SE of Jacksonville

Population: 378 (2000)

Where to Stay
Jacksonville Hotels

Gallatin Schoolhouse and students, 1916, Texas
Gallatin Public School and students in 1916
Photo courtesy Arcadia Publishing and
The Cherokee County Historical Commission

History in a Pecan Shell

Like many Cherokee County towns, Gallatin had been settled in the 1840s, although it blossomed later than other towns. Here the year was 1902, when the Texas and New Orleans Railroad arrived. John W. Chandler and his sister, Sophronia, platted a townsite and named it after their former home in Tennessee. It quickly modeled itself after other produce-producing towns and before one could say "truck-farming" it was shipping out tomatoes to northern cities.

The economy was bolstered in 1907 when a branch line of the Texas and New Orleans connected Gallatin with Rusk. The population was 350 by 1914, and although much of the downtown burned in 1916, it was completely rebuilt. The population slowly increased during the 20s and by the time the Great Depression arrived, Gallatin had a healthy population of 500.

The depopulation of East Texas after WWII is well-documented and Gallatin was no exception. School consolidation didn't help and Gallatin's students were merged into Rusk schools. By the early 1950s, the population was back to 1914 levels and a slow decline had left less than 200 people there by 1990.

It has since increased to its current estimate of 378.

Where to Stay
Jacksonville Hotels

Gallatin, Texas class of 1916
Gallatin students in 1916 (Closeup of photo above)
Photo courtesy Arcadia Publishing and
The Cherokee County Historical Commission

Gallatin Texas Forum

  • Subject: Gallatin, TX
    My father was born in Reklaw, TX but he grew up in the Gallatin Ė Rusk, TX and he grew up with the late great Johnny Horton. My fatherís name was Cleland E. Bailey and he was the son of Isaac Lawson Bailey and Maude (Parsons) Bailey. Iíve been to Gallatin several times even though I live in Michigan. What a great place. My favorite place is the Olde Store restaurant. - Kevin C. Bailey, Kalamazoo, MI, February 09, 2011
  • Subject: Gallatin Texas
    I am from Ponta, Texas and have never lived in Gallatin although I have relatives there now. Gallatin is the childhood home of singer/songwriter Johnny Horton. Best Regards, LR (Larry) Trotter Ponta, Texas, June 22, 2006
  • Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos of their town, please contact us.
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    Gallatin, Texas
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    This page last modified: February 10, 2011