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CORRIGAN, TX (POLK COUNTY)

CORRIGAN, TEXAS (Polk County). Corrigan is at the junction of U.S. highways 59 and 287 and Farm roads 352 and 942, about 100 miles north of Houston in north central Polk County. Although for several years a few sawmills and farms had been established in the area, the real impetus for community settlement came in 1881, when the Houston, East and West Texas Railway was completed through northern Polk County. The town was named for Pat Corrigan, conductor of the first train through the newly developed site. In 1882 the Trinity and Sabine Railway was also built through the town. Lumber companies, drawn by the good rail connections and huge pine forests, greatly expanded their operations in the Corrigan vicinity; in 1881–82, for example, seventeen sawmills, including the Allen and Williams mill, operated nearby. As the mills continued production, churches and a variety of businesses, including hotels, stores, and gins, opened at Corrigan. A post office opened at the community in 1883; nine years later the Corrigan Index, the first of several newspapers to be published there, printed its first issue. The local economy was diversified by a bottle works, stone quarries, sand pits, and continued agricultural production (especially of cotton, tomatoes, poultry, stock, and dairy products). This diversity allowed Corrigan to withstand periodic depressions in the lumber industry, like the one that closed area sawmills between 1904 and 1907. Timber nonetheless remained the mainstay of the town's economic and social structure. Particleboard plants and the Edens and Burch sawmill, leased by the Corrigan Lumber Company in 1946, proved particularly important. The weekly Corrigan Times, begun in 1953, continued to publish in the 1980s. The town's population, which numbered 461 in 1900, grew to 1,420 in the early 1950s before declining to 986 by 1960. Subsequent growth, however, nearly doubled the population by 1985, when some 1,770 persons lived in the incorporated town. In 1991 the population of Corrigan was reported as 1,816, with sixty-one businesses. In 2000 the population was 1,721, with 114 businesses.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Hamilton Pratt Easton, History of the Texas Lumbering Industry (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1947). A Pictorial History of Polk County, Texas, 1846–1910 (Livingston, Texas: Polk County Bicentennial Commission, 1976; rev. ed. 1978).

Robert Wooster

Citation

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

Robert Wooster, "CORRIGAN, TX (POLK COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjc19), accessed October 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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