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DINSMORE, TX

DINSMORE, TEXAS. Dinsmore is on Farm Road 1301 and the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway two miles east of Wharton in Wharton County. It was established in John Dinsmore's quarter league by a black man, E. W. Roberts, for African Americans. The plat was recorded in 1913, and the town was named Roberts; the residents, however, called the place Dinsmore, and the name Roberts appears only on the plats. The original plat had thirty-eight blocks, with nine avenues running east to west and six streets running north to south. One lot was designated for a school, with a park across the street. The streets and avenues had the names of local citizens. The lots were small but cheap, and gave descendants of former slaves, now working as tenant farmers, sharecroppers, or hired agricultural workers, a place to build and own their own homes. The site was near Burr, which had the largest black population in the county because the large plantations along the Caney Creek had been in that area.

After the railroad was built from Wharton to Van Vleck in 1900, white farmers moved in. E. W. Roberts, who owned and operated a brick two-story mercantile store on the east side of the courthouse square in Wharton, began selling lots in 1914. He eventually declared bankruptcy, sold all of his Wharton County holdings, and moved to Houston. A revised plat was recorded in 1920 that reduced the townsite to three avenues, four streets, and ten blocks containing twelve lots each. The school and park never materialized. In the early 1990s Dinsmore comprised fifty houses, an estimated 250 residents, and one business.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Wharton County Historical Commission, Wharton County Pictorial History: 1846–1946, Our First 100 Years (Austin: Eakin Press, 1993).

Merle R. Hudgins

Citation

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

Merle R. Hudgins, "DINSMORE, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hldcq), accessed August 20, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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