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MOULTON, TX

MOULTON, TEXAS. Moulton is at the intersection of State Highway 95 and Farm roads 532 and 1680, on the Southern Pacific Railroad sixteen miles northwest of Halletsville in northwestern Lavaca County. It was founded in the mid-1850s two miles northwest of its present location. Some sources claim the town was named for a community in either Kentucky or Alabama; others contend that it was named for E. L. Moulton, a pioneer settler; and still others assert that it was named by a traveler who was reminded of his home by the live oak motts prevalent in the Moulton area. The Moulton post office opened in 1855. A private school was operated in a log cabin in the 1850s, and school was taught in an old Christian church in the 1860s. In 1874 M. H. Allis opened Moulton Male and Female Institute, which flourished until his death in 1892. The school had an excellent reputation in the county and assisted in the town's growth. In 1875 the community had several stores, a church, a wagon and blacksmith shop, and an Odd Fellows hall. In 1887 the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway built through the area two miles southeast of Moulton. A railroad station was constructed and given the name of Topeka. The old town gradually drifted to the station. Between 1888 and 1894 the post office in what became known as Old Moulton was renamed Moulton Institute, for the school. By the late 1890s the old site was pretty much abandoned, and the station community had taken the name Moulton. In the 1890s significant numbers of Czechs and Germansqqv settled in the community, and by 1896 the town had an estimated 550 inhabitants, a Catholic church, a public school, a hotel, and cotton gins and gristmills. In 1900 the population reached 733, and in 1914 Moulton had Lutheran and Catholic churches, a bank, an opera house, telephone service, and a weekly paper, the Eagle. The town incorporated in 1940, when it had a population of 643 and sixty businesses. Moulton remained that size until the 1960s, when it began to grow, reaching a population of 968 in 1970 and 1,009 in 1980. Thereafter the town declined somewhat; in 1990 Moulton had 923 inhabitants and twenty businesses. By 2000 the population was 944.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Paul C. Boethel, The History of Lavaca County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1936; rev. ed., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1959). T. H. Leslie, The History of Lavaca County Schools (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1935).

Mark Odintz

Citation

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

Mark Odintz, "MOULTON, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjm17), accessed November 28, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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