FRUITVALE, TEXAS. Fruitvale is on U.S. Highway 80 and the Missouri Pacific Railroad in the center of the fruit-growing district of the Sabine River valley in northeastern Van Zandt County. Its name was originally Bolen Switch, but it was changed around 1901 after a petition of local fruit growers, and a post office was established in 1903. The first fruit nursery at Fruitvale operated during the 1870s and 1880s, promoted by Sykes Wheeler, brother of Benjamin Wheeler, for whom the town of Ben Wheeler is named. In 1914 a local lumber company shipped cordwood and railroad ties to Dallas, Fort Worth, and beyond, and two general stores operated in the community. The population reached 160 during the 1930s, and by 1950 the town had a school, a church, and several businesses. Fruitvale was incorporated in July 1965, when it had 150 residents; six months later the decision was rescinded, but later the town was reincorporated. Fruitvale continued to grow in the 1960s. It established its own independent school district on September 1, 1964. In 1988 the community had 395 residents, eight businesses, and several churches. In 1990 the population was 349, and in 2000 it was 418.
William Samuel Mills, History of Van Zandt County (Canton, Texas, 1950). Van Zandt County History Book Committee, History of Van Zandt County (Dallas, 1984).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Diana J. Kleiner, "FRUITVALE, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlf32), accessed May 25, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.