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SHIRO, TX

SHIRO, TEXAS. Shiro is on State Highway 30 and the Burlington-Rock Island Railroad in east central Grimes County. The town was founded in 1902 by farm families in the vicinity of Little Lake Creek and near the settlement of Prairie Plains. Residents of the latter community moved to Shiro, on the proposed route of the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway, the forerunner of the Burlington-Rock Island. The site was first settled during the 1830s, but no community appeared among the local cotton farmers until the coming of the railroad. At the approach of the railroad, which passed three miles to the west of Prairie Plains, a community grew to include a Methodist church and a five-room frame school building. In 1902 the townsite was laid out and a post office established with Frances Marion Mayfield as postmaster. The settlement's name, Shiro, was provided by Mayfield, who selected it from the botanical names in a nursery catalogue. Reid Richards and Lou Norman opened a general store in 1904. In 1905 the Trinity and Brazos Valley line was surveyed through the townsite; a right-of-way was purchased from Mayfield and Dr. Hamp Franklow, and the line was completed in 1908. The early community had a number of cotton gins, a drugstore, a blacksmith shop, and a jail. In 1909 the Prairie Plains Cumberland Presbyterian Church was moved to Shiro. The Shiro Independent School District was formed, and a two-story brick schoolhouse was constructed; east of town a black elementary school was established. In 1912 J. D. Davis organized a Baptist congregation and Dr. Franklow established a bank. By 1913 extensive stockyards lined the railroad siding. Shiro had become a shipping center for cattle, cotton, and other agricultural produce. A weekly newspaper, the Shiro Advertiser, published by E. W. Bracewell, appeared before 1915. In 1924 Shiro had sixteen businesses, including an automobile dealership, two garages, and two hotels. The population, an estimated 500 in 1936, declined after World War II; by 1950 it had fallen to an estimated 310 residents, who supported nine rated businesses. In 1969 the population had fallen to an estimated 205, but the decline leveled off thereafter. In 1990 Shiro had a reported population of 205 and two rated businesses. The population remained the same in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Grimes County Historical Commission, History of Grimes County, Land of Heritage and Progress (Dallas: Taylor, 1982). Fred I. Massengill, Texas Towns: Origin of Name and Location of Each of the 2,148 Post Offices in Texas (Terrell, Texas, 1936).

Charles Christopher Jackson

Citation

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

Charles Christopher Jackson, "SHIRO, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hls45), accessed December 17, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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