in a Pecan Shell
Naples came into being with the arrival of the Texas and St. Louis
Railroad in 1880. The small town of Wheatville had been bypassed
by the railroad
and moved the three miles south, providing the new town with its
But it wasn’t called Naples at first. It was called Belden.
In 1882, the Wheatville post office was one of the businesses moved
to the tracks, but because of feared confusion with Belton,
Texas, the postal authorities named it Station Belden.
By the mid 1880s, Station Belden had a population of 350 with most
essential businesses. In 1890, the population had increased to 750
and the town acquired a newspaper.
The name Naples was chosen from a list submitted by residents in
1895. The following year the population had reached 1,200. Naples
incorporated in 1919.
The Great Depression
hit Naples hard and in 1933 the population had fallen to 843. For
the 1950 census, Naples increased to 1,346.
In the mid 1960s, nearly half of the population worked at Lone Star,
Daingerfield, or the Red River
Army Depot in neighboring Bowie
County. The 1980 population of 1,908 had decreased to just 1,410
by the year 2,000.
See Historical Markers:
annual Naples Watermelon Festival
Last weekend of July
Photo courtesy Gerald
Massey, July 2010
- 3rd Street and Pine Ave.
The earliest recorded
burial on this site was that of Elizabeth A. Baker, who died on April
26, 1883. Pattie D. Baker, who died in October of that year, is one
of several people reported to have been reinterred here from the local
school grounds. In 1892, J. H. Mathews sold about an acre including
this site to trustees of the Belden Public School for $12.50 for use
as a cemetery. In 1895 when the town of Belden was renamed Naples,
the Belden Cemetery was renamed accordingly. Among those interred
here are a Texas state representative, as well as Amanda Sheppard,
the mother and grandmother of two U. S. congressmen. Members of the
Watts family were reinterred here from the Wheatville graveyard northeast
of Naples. Now encompassing two acres, Naples Cemetery is a chronicle
on US 67 and Walnut St.
When railroad by-passed
prosperous town of Wheatville (3 mi. N), this rival town emerged at
railroad. Post office moved here Jan. 1882, and was called Station
Belden. Name was changed to Naples by U. S. Post Office Department,
Feb. 1895. With depletion of hardwood forests, economy returned to
cattle and agriculture.
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history
and vintage/historic photos, please contact