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ALLEYTON, TX

ALLEYTON, TEXAS. Alleyton is on the east bank of the Colorado River and Farm Road 102 between Interstate Highway 10 and the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad, three miles east of Columbus in central Colorado County. The area, once the site of a prehistoric Indian encampment, was settled in 1821 by Rawson Alley, who was joined by his brothers Abraham, John C., Thomas V., and William A. Alley, Jr.,qqv in 1822. In 1859 William arranged for the extension of the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway to his property and donated land for the right-of-way and for the building of shops, a roundhouse, a depot, and loading facilities. The town was surveyed, and all city lots, with the exception of one reserved for William Alley's home, were auctioned to the public. The proceeds of the sale were divided equally between William Alley and the railroad.

Completion of the railroad to Alleyton in 1860 made the town the terminus for the southernmost railroad in the state. Alleyton became the largest and most active town in Colorado County. A post office was established there in 1860. During the Civil War Alleyton was the beginning of the "cotton road," which carried cotton, brought by rail, to Mexico by wagon train, in order to bypass the Union blockade of Texas ports. Returning wagon trains brought military and domestic supplies, which were then shipped by rail to the rest of the Confederacy. After the war the Colorado River was bridged, and the railroad extended to Columbus, the county seat, and points west. Alleyton declined in importance as a rail terminus but remained important as the supply center for a heavily populated agricultural area. In 1890 the town reported a population of 200 and two churches, a school, five general stores, a drugstore, and a saloon. In 1896 the population was estimated at 320, but by 1914 the number had fallen. It remained at 200 well into the 1940s.

Cotton was the primary agricultural product of Alleyton during the first half of the twentieth century, with some emphasis on rice, corn, and pecans. The removal of gravel in large strip-mining operations near the river resulted in the destruction of some rich farming and grazing land and the formation of many lakes, which are locally popular for fishing. The rise of the use of synthetics during the post-World War II period and increasing government regulation of cotton production eliminated cotton as a viable crop during the 1950s, by which time Alleyton's population had declined to about 125. In 1986 the community had a population of sixty-five and six businesses, including several places of entertainment, a welding and well-drilling service, and an auto-salvage yard. In 2000 the population was 165.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Colorado County Sesquicentennial Commemorative Book (La Grange, Texas: Hengst Printing, 1986).

Jeff Carroll

Citation

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

Jeff Carroll, "ALLEYTON, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hna25), accessed July 28, 2014. Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.