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SEAGOVILLE, TX

SEAGOVILLE, TEXAS. Seagoville, a suburban residential community, is on State Highway 175 and the Southern Pacific line ten miles southeast of Mesquite in southeastern Dallas County. Interstate Highway 635, State Highway 75, and Interstate Highway 20 all skirt the community. Seagoville is on the original land grant of J. D. Merchant. One of the first recorded settlers in the area was Hugh L. Buchanan, who arrived in the 1860s. By 1867 John A. Brinegar had constructed a one-room log school with seats made of split logs. The early 1870s saw the arrival of the next group of settlers, which included the Cravens, Sorrells, Peaks, Moores, and Hawthornes, as well as the town's founder, T. K. Seago, who built a general store there in 1876. A community began to develop around the store, and in 1876 it was known as Seago. In that year B. F. Peak built a cotton gin, and two years later the community's first Baptist church was completed. Freight was shipped and received from locks on the Trinity River.

In 1880 Professor J. T. Doss constructed a new school, and in 1881 the Texas Trunk Railroad was completed through Seago; the area shipped cotton and alfalfa. The community secured a post office in 1881; this office was still open in the early 1990s. In 1885 the First Methodist Church was completed, and the community had a steam gristmill, a cotton gin, another general store, and a population of sixty, which included a teacher, a blacksmith, and a doctor. By 1890 Seago had a population of eighty-five, and another general merchandise store, established by J. L. Fly, supplied the area with farm implements. By 1902 Seago had a newspaper called The Star, which was edited by J. E. Laney. In 1908 the Trinity River flooded and caused considerable damage to the C. C. Cobb farm, one of the largest in the state. In 1910 the community's first brick school was constructed; it had ten grades and fifteen students. That year the post office name was changed to Seagoville to avoid confusion with the town of Sego. Two years later Seagoville drilled an artesian well. In 1914 A. H. McWhorter and M. P. Hawthorne built eight brick buildings, one of which housed a movie theater. By that time the community had a population of 300, five general stores, five grocery stores, two hardware stores, two restaurants, two drugstores, a lumberyard, a blacksmith shop, a cotton gin, and a printer. Seagoville also had a Western Union office, local telephone service, the Seagoville News, and the Farmers Guaranty State Bank.

In 1925 Seagoville secured electrical service, and in 1926 it incorporated. Two years later a two-story high school was built, and by 1929 the population of the community had increased to 650. During the Great Depression, however, the number of businesses decreased from twenty-eight (in 1929) to twelve (1933). Closures included the Seagoville State Bank, which shut its doors in December 1932. During this period two new institutions provided income for the residents of Seagoville: a federal detention station, and the Seagoville Community Cannery (begun by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation). Seagoville began to develop again when the main office and warehouse of Gibson Discount Stores located there in 1938. By 1941 the number of rated businesses at Seagoville had increased to twenty-five and the population to 760. Seagoville at this time had seven grocery stores and service stations, five cafes, four beauty salons, three wholesale meat distributors, and two each of cotton gins, barbershops, garages, icehouses, and tobacco distributors. It also had numerous other businesses ranging from a laundry to a golf course. Public buildings included a city hall and a city jail, several schools, and a fire department. During World War II 290 of the 720 residents served in the armed forces, and the Seagoville Federal Correctional Institute was used by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service to hold foreign-born people from the east and west coasts.

By 1948 the community had an estimated population of 2,000, forty-five businesses, and a second artesian water well. The economy was supported by the federal correctional institute, by local agricultural production, and by the Gibson Products Company, which manufactured shoe polish, drugs, and lotion. The community also had four churches and was still served by the Seagoville News. Banking was done in nearby Crandall. During the next two decades growth continued. In 1952 the second Seagoville State Bank opened, and three years later a new junior high school was built. In 1957 the community's high school burned down, forcing students to attend the Pleasant Grove High School until 1959, when Seagoville completed a new building. Five years later, when the local school district became part of the Dallas Independent School District, Seagoville had a population of 4,275 and 116 businesses.

In 1971 Seagoville was named "Small Town U.S.A." by the United States Marine Corps recruiting office, which subsequently shot a recruiting film entitled "Strictly On Your Own" in downtown Seagoville. In 1979 the community had a new sewage treatment plant and dedicated a new city hall and police substation. That year the community celebrated its 100th birthday. By 1990 Seagoville had a population of 8,969. In 1991 the population was reported as 9,100, and Seagoville had a six-member mayor-council form of city government, twelve policemen, ten full-time firemen, and sixteen volunteer firemen. At that time the community had two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school, with a total school population of 1,900. Seagoville also had a public library, seven churches, the Seagoville Federal Correctional Institute, and a United States Army reserve facility. In 2000 the population reached 10,823.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Suburbia News, June 7, 1979.

Matthew Hayes Nall

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Matthew Hayes Nall, "SEAGOVILLE, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hfs05), accessed September 14, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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