Book. The Goforth Supply Co.
General Merchandise and Plantation Supplies
in a Pecan Shell
J. T. Goforth,
storekeeper and landowner was the towns namesake when it was settled
in the early 1880s. The town built its first school in 1881 and a
post office opened in 1890 (closed in 1902). It was the center of
cotton ginning for eastern Hays
County. From a forward-looking population of 100 people in 1890
it fell to just 20 by the middle of that decade.
The cotton ginning business and
the local farms continued to prosper, without benefit of a populated
town center. The thin soil became exhausted, a flood in 1913 and then
the boll weevil
infestation in the 1920s doomed Goforth. A school for Mexican-American
children remained until consolidation in the late 1940s and today
only the cemetery marks the former town.
Once the center
of cotton-producing activity in
Hays County. Goforth
became a ghost town during the 1920s. The community was established
in the 1870s by James Taylor Goforth (1849-1915), who operated a general
store at this site. Goforth's store served as a social center and
as a banking facility for many of the farm families in the area. Business
activity in Goforth was at its height between 1880 and 1906. The town
boasted a drugstore, doctor's office, meat market, stable, and blacksmith
shop. A U. S. Post Office opened in 1890, with J. T. Goforth as postmaster.
In 1894, J. M. Butterworth purchased Goforth's store, but closed it
three years later when the Goforth Supply Company was organized. The
town's founder later formed a gin and milling company that operated
one of the largest cotton gins in the area.
Despite the fact that rail lines had bypassed Goforth, the community
flourished until soil erosion and worn out farmland combined to bring
extensive crop failure in 1925. A worm infestation in 1926 caused
total abandonment of area farms. The supply company closed that year
with stock still on the shelves. Although little evidence remains
of the townsite, Goforth is an important part of Hays
I noticed the discussion about an elderly man with a white flowing
beard who was one of the last residents of Goforth, Texas. That
man was Len Miller. He looked exactly like the traditional image
of Santa Claus and each year would travel to San
Antonio to play Santa at the famous Santaland at Joske's of
Texas. My family had farming interests in Kyle
and Buda and my great grandfather founded
Science Hall when he migrated to Texas from North Carolina after
the Civil War. Here is an old
photo of the original Science Hall - David J. Andrews, November
Goforth Stamp Book
I found this old stamp book
in some papers. Don't know anything about it. Just thought some
one would . Its kind a cool. Thanks - Dale Stevenson, October
We lived on a farm near FM 2001 in the 50's. As a matter a fact,
Clay Thompson and his family were friends of ours. I am older than
Clay, and well remember going in to the old store with my older
sister, and later with Clay's siblings and other friends. We were
always warned about the danger of entering that old building, but
somehow we managed to survive! I still have an old calendar pulled
from the ruins of that 'dangerous' old building, and like Clay's
mother, my mother threw out other things scavenged.
My father grew cotton and used the gin in Kyle.
Many times on our way through the winding roads to Kyle
passing through Goforth, we would encounter a very old gentleman
with a long white beard and white hair. He would be walking along
the side of the road with a long staff. He would wave, and we would
stop to say hello. He had a merry face and was always so friendly.
This kind man would lean into the car window and ask how we were
doing. Mom would sometimes bring him bread or some other goodies.
I do not recall his name as it has been such a long time ago, but
I do remember being told he was Santa. - Barbara Clayton, February
I grew up on a farm in Buda (Hays Co.
TX) less than two miles from Goforth. It was east-southeast of Buda,
and had a cotton gin. Apparently, Goforth began its decline when
the railroad went through Buda
in 1881. We used to go to the ruins of the town in the 1950s and
early 1960s and had picked up old newspapers and advertising (which
our mother later discarded). We still have several old bills of
lading from the Goforth Mercantile dating from the 1890s. Goforth
had a post office, schools, at least one church and a cemetery or
two. Unfortunately, someone purchased the property that the old
stores sat upon in the late 1960s and burned everything. Evidence
of the cotton gin is still visible on the county road. One church
still exists and the cemetery is still in use.
My mother's family (Mitcheltree) was from Burnet
Co. TX and my father's family (Thompson) was from the Caldwell
Co. TX area. - Clay Thompson, Lake St. Louis, MO.,
November 28, 2007
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