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JUSTIN, TX

JUSTIN, TEXAS. Justin is at the intersection of Farm roads 407 and 156, five miles northwest of Grapevine Lake in southwestern Denton County. The area was originally settled by a band of French colonists who in 1848 established the Icarian Colony. The community was abandoned a year later, and the area remained sparsely populated until the early 1880s. Justin began in 1883 with the sale of town lots owned by Chet Helm and a man named Riley. Within the year a general store opened, and the community became a center for farmers. Four years later the Santa Fe extended its line from Fort Worth to Purcell, Oklahoma, laying tracks near the growing community. Residents of nearby Roanoke, Elizabeth, and Drop moved to be near the railroad. In January 1887 the community petitioned postal authorities for a post office to be named Justin, in honor of Justin Sherman, chief engineer of the Santa Fe line. The community, at a site in the Grand Prairies region of Denton County, benefited from nearby prosperous wheat and dairy farms. By 1896 it had a population of 100, a general store, a grocery, a hotel, and a cotton gin. The addition of grain elevators, frozen-food lockers, and paved roads established Justin as a shipping point for agricultural products. At one time the community had a movie theater, a weekly newspaper (the Justin Tribune), and a preparatory school (Pennington Collegeqv). The town's population increased from 476 in 1904 to 700 in 1941, and in 1947 Justin was incorporated. In 1980 the population was reported as 920. During the 1980s many residents commuted on Interstate Highway 35 to jobs in nearby Denton and Fort Worth. In 1987 the Flying S Farm airstrip was located just outside the town. In 1990 Justin reported a population of 1,282 and seventy-six businesses. By 2000 the population was 1,891 with 149 businesses.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Edward Franklin Bates, History and Reminiscences of Denton County (Denton, Texas: McNitzky Printing, 1918; rpt., Denton: Terrill Wheeler Printing, 1976). Kathleen E. and Clifton R. St. Clair, eds., Little Towns of Texas (Jacksonville, Texas: Jayroe Graphic Arts, 1982).

David Minor

Citation

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

David Minor, "JUSTIN, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlj16), accessed September 18, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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