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NAPLES, TX

NAPLES, TEXAS. Naples is on the St. Louis Southwestern Railway and U.S. Highway 67, twelve miles northeast of Daingerfield in northeastern Morris County. The town developed around a station on the Texas and St. Louis Railway, which built through the area in 1880. Most of the original merchants had moved their stores from Wheatville, which lay about three miles north of the railroad. The new town was originally called Belden, but when the post office was moved there from Wheatville in 1882, it was named Station Belden, apparently because postal officials were concerned that "Belden" would be confused with Belton in Bell County. The town quickly became an important shipping point and supply center. By 1884 it had a district school, two churches, two gristmills, two cotton gins, and a population of 350. The population had grown to 750 by 1890, and a weekly newspaper, the Belden Monitor, was being published there. In 1895 residents submitted a list of names to the post office, and Naples was selected as the new town name. By 1896 the community had a bank and an estimated population of 1,200. During the early 1900s lumber was an important local industry, and a narrow-gauge railroad was constructed to haul hardwood logs to the sawmills. The town was incorporated in 1919.

Naples experienced a minor boom in the late 1920s, with its population growing from an estimated 887 in 1925 to 1,500 in 1929. The Great Depression brought a collapse, however, and by 1933 the population had declined to 843, with thirty-eight rated businesses. The population level remained relatively stable until the late 1940s, when it began to rise again, reaching 1,346 in 1950. In the 1950s the Naples and Omaha school districts were consolidated into the Pewitt Independent School District. Naples continued to be an important trade center for area farmers, but as the town began to grow after World War II, many residents acquired industrial jobs elsewhere. In 1964, 239 of the 567 employed persons living in Naples worked in industries at Lone Star, at Daingerfield, or at the Red River Army Depot in Bowie County. In 1980 Naples had a population of 1,908. During the early 1990s its population of 1,530 was served by sixty-three rated businesses.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Jean Connor, A Short History of Morris County (Daingerfield, Texas: Daingerfield Bicentennial Commission, 1975). Fowler and Grafe, Inc ., Naples Comprehensive Plan Report (6 vols., Dallas, 1963–64).

Cecil Harper, Jr.

Citation

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

Cecil Harper, Jr., "NAPLES, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjn01), accessed December 18, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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