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Bowie County TX
Bowie County

OLD BOSTON, TEXAS

Bowie County, East Texas

33° 24' 14" N, 94° 24' 59" W (33.403889, -94.416389)
State Highway 8
About 2.5 miles S of Boston
4 Miles S of New Boston
W of Texarkana
E of Clarksville
Population: 125 estimate

Old Boston, Texas Area Hotels > New Boston Hotels
Old Boston TX Highway Sign

Old Boston Highway Sign
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, August 2010

History in a Pecan Shell

Settled in the early 1830s, the town wasn’t named for the Massachusetts city, but for storekeeper W. J. Boston. When Bowie County was organized in 1841, Boston (as it was then called) became the county seat. A post office was granted in 1846.

The town’s population on the eve of the Civil War was estimated to be between 300 to 400 people. In 1876 the Texas and Pacific Railroad was heading toward Dallas but the surveyors took a northern route, bypassing Boston by about four miles. Businessmen asked the railroad if they would consider building their depot directly north of the existing town and they complied with the request. The new town was given the name of New Boston.

Despite the new town, the community of Boston remained the county seat, even though it shrank to a population of just 75 people by the early 1880s. Texarkana yearned to be county seat, even though it wasn’t anywhere near the center of the county. Boston’s population fell to a mere 50 people as Texarkana won county seat status.

But the competition wasn’t over. Angry at having to go all the way to Texarkana for courthouse business, central Bowie County citizens complained and their complaints were heard.

A new courthouse was built 2.5 miles north of the original town of Boston and the post office was moved there in 1890.

The designation of Old Boston was used more frequently, until it became official and today the county seat of Boston sits equidistant between the Old and New Bostons.

See
Old Boston Historical Marker
Bowie County Courthouse

Old Boston TX Historical Marker

Old Boston Historical Marker
Junction of FM 2149 and Hwy 8

Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, August 2010

Historical Marker:

Old Boston

Established while part of Mexico; to serve plantations on Red River. Mail came horseback from Arkansas. Named for W. J. Boston, first storekeeper. A battalion was formed here to fight in Texas Revolution.

First Bowie County Seat, 1841. Large stores surrounded square and two-story brick courthouse. Became educational center with 3 fine private schools. Texas governors Hardin R. Runnels and S. W. T. Lanham have lived here.

New Boston (4 mi. N) founded on railroad, 1877. Boston (1 mi. S), exact county center, made county seat 1890, and this became "Old" Boston.
(1966)
Old Boston TX Methodist Church
Old Boston Methodist Church
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, August 2010
Old Boston TX - Shady Grove Baptist Church

Shady Grove Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, August 2010

Old Boston TX Baptist Church

Old Boston Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, August 2010
More Texas Churches

Bowie County Texas 1907 Postal map
1907 Bowie County postal map showing Boston and New Boston
(Above "W" in "BOWIE")
Courtesy Texas General Land Office


Old Boston, Texas Area Towns:
Boston | New Boston | Texarkana | Clarksville
See Bowie County | East Texas
Book Hotel Here:
New Boston Hotels | More Hotels

Texas 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 us.

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