landscape with water towers seen in the distance.
Courtesy Genevieve B. Shockley, April 2006
in a Pecan Shell
was officially formed when the Katy Railroad started their survey
in 1881. Earlier settlers had been living in the area for the 30 previous
One J. E. Pietzsch donated land for the townsite although it was actually
named after John T. Bartlett. Lots were sold in 1881 and the railroad
reached the town the following year. There were two stores in operation
by the time the railroad arrived and the post office opened in 1882.
population was around 300 in '84 and the town was established as a
shipping point for cotton. There was also a cotton gin, hotel, grocer,
butcher and school.
Bartlett incorporated in 1890 when it was a thriving town with two
weekly newspapers and a bank.
Western Railroad, 1912
Photo courtesy Clyde Crews
railroad running from Bartlett to Florence
was charted in 1909. The logical name of Bartlett-Florence Railway
Company was changed to the Bartlett Western.
Being the eastern terminus of this busy shortline railroad only added
to Bartlett's prestige and economy. In 1914 the town reached its population
zenith of 2,200 citixens. The town had two railroads, three banks,
three gins and four churches.
The decline of
cotton in the 20s and 30s, forced the railroad into bankruptcy in
1931 Bartlett had 1,873 people with nearly 100 businesses. With the
Great Depression, the town lost 25% of its businesses although the
population loss was a mere 10%. It reached a low of 1,556 in 1988
and has increased slowly to the present 1,675.
First National Bank Building
Photo courtesy Genevieve B. Shockley, April 2006
threshold of a former business.
Genevieve B. Shockley, April 2006
up in Holland, Texas and remember seeing this same type of doorway
plate on the older buildings there, as well. This type of doorway
plate is on many of the Bartlett buildings." - Genevieve B. Shockley
long (and wide) commercial strip of buildings built during its heyday
has made it a natural for shooting movies. Stars Fell on Henrietta,
The Newton Boys, and The Whole Wide World (based on the
short life of Texas author Robert
Howard) were shot in Bartlett as well as several of the familiar
The Newton Boys
The Whole Wide World
County > Towns and
> Towns and Ghost towns
by Clay Coppedge
The old community of Alligator, a few miles east of Bartlett, lives
in legend, lore and in the memory of ...
Old Red Brick School First Annual Event
My husband Paul and I wanted to give Texas Escapes and its readers
an update on the restoration
of Bartlett's old red brick school.
We joined the BAC with the idea of starting an annual festival/benefit
to help fund the continued renovation of the school. We are having
our first fundraiser on June 24th from 3 to 8 pm with musical entertainment,
a dance, silent auction and art displays. We will also have a coloring
contest for the kids (what if the school was any color you wanted
it?), face painting and snow cones.
We are hoping to draw in crowds, but are mainly interested in getting
the "new" Bartlett and "old" Bartlett residents interested in their
city again. Hopefully we will get volunteers that will be interested
in hosting a much bigger event next year. We hope to attract more
local artists to use the auditorium for concerts and maybe even
get a community theatre started. By the way, almost all of Barlett's
downtown buildings have been bought and now house antique stores
and a coffee shop soon. It went from nearly extinct to thriving!
Thanks for such a wonderful [magazine]. - Cindi and Paul Reaka,
June 12, 2006
I remember Bartlett
remember taking my shoes off, walking near the tracks, and feeling
the exhilaration and excitement of laying out pennies to be squished.
When we got home, my feet were black, and my cheeks were bright
red from the heat... more
- Carolyn Ripper, May 07, 2006
Anyone wishing to share photos, memories or information on Bartlett,
Texas, please contact
Area Hotels - Book Here & Save