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ASHERTON, TX

ASHERTON, TEXAS. Asherton is on U.S. Highway 83 eight miles southeast of Carrizo Springs in central Dimmit County. It was one of several settlements founded in the county between 1909 and 1917 and was named for Asher Richardson, the local rancher and entrepreneur who established it. Richardson began planning Asherton as early as 1902, when he acquired the site in a special sale from the state of Texas. Soon afterward he formed the Asherton Land and Irrigation Company and developed his blueprint for an ambitious 48,000-acre development project. He set up telephone and railroad companies in 1905 and soon afterward began to construct shops, workers' housing, a church, and other buildings on the Asherton townsite. By 1909 the town had a post office, and when the Asherton and Gulf Railway began running in 1910, the community became a shipping point for local farmers. By 1915 the settlement comprised 1,000 residents, four churches, and eighteen businesses, including a bank, two hotels, two blacksmith shops, a lumber company, and three general stores. Asherton continued to grow until the late 1920s. In 1925 it was incorporated. By 1927, thanks to the irrigated farms that surrounded it and its rail link, Asherton had become one of the largest shipping points for Bermuda onions in the United States. By 1929 the town's population had grown to 2,000. Many local small farmers experienced hard times during the 1930s, however, and several businesses closed. By 1931 Asherton's population had dropped to 1,858. In 1941 the town had 1,538 residents and thirty-six businesses; by 1943 only seventeen businesses were reported. The town grew briefly in the 1950s; in 1954 it had 2,425 residents and twenty-two businesses. But in 1962 it had 1,890 residents and fifteen businesses. In 1989 Asherton had several businesses and a population of 1,609. By 2000 the population dropped to 1,342.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Carrizo Springs Javelin, October 28, 1980. Paul S. Taylor, "Historical Note on Dimmit County, Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 34 (October 1930). Laura Knowlton Tidwell, Dimmit County Mesquite Roots (Austin: Wind River, 1984). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

John Leffler

Citation

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

John Leffler, "ASHERTON, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hja14), accessed July 28, 2014. Uploaded on August 7, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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