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TALCO, TEXAS

"Named after a Candybar"
Titus County, East Texas
Highways 271 and 71
16 Miles NW of Mount Pleasant
24 Miles S of Clarksville
36 Miles SE of Paris
Population: 570 (2000)

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History in a Pecan Shell

Although there is not a direct linkage to a previous settlement called Gouldsboro, that town's post office was open by 1856, closed four years later and reopened under a variation (Goolesboro) in 1878. The fledgling community had just 30 people in 1884. It also had a post office with a name that postal authorities deemed confusing (with other Texas post office names). They requested that the townsfolk come up with a new name and it is said that a confection sold by the Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana Candy Company TAL Co.) was the source.

The Paris and Mount Pleasant Railroad was about to bypass the town but knowing their doom if they stayed put - residents moved their homes and businesses to the tracks beginning in 1912.

By 1914 the relocated Talco had a depot, telephone service and 300 citizens. It entered the great Depression with a respectable 350 people but things changed drastically in 1936. In February of that year the Talco Oilfield came in - creating a boomtown. The town was inundated with jobless men looking for work. Oil leases were sold in the street and even the School trustees accepted a bid for a well to be drilled on the playground of the school.

But the "low gravity" oil was low value compared to the oil in other fields. It was, however excellent for asphalt, and before one could say "Asphalt Capital of the World"- the chamber of commerce was using the slogan. Oil money - or in this case asphalt money - was well spent. Streets were paved, infrastructure put in place and the city incorporated. Bonds were sold so that a new city hall could be built. The population stood at about 2,000 by the end of the 30's, but as the boom subsided - it declined by half.

Talco's population rebounded to 1,250 by 1960, but declined back to 751 by 1980. The Talco field remains in production and the town's economy remains directly linked.

See
Recollections of Talco During the Oil Boom
by Robert Cowser

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