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BRANDON, TX

BRANDON, TEXAS. Brandon is at the intersection of State Highway 22 and Farm Road 1243, ten miles east of Hillsboro in eastern Hill County. In 1840–41 a road was surveyed on the banks of Pecan Creek several miles from the site of Brandon. Elisha S. and Martha Wyman settled on this road in 1846. In 1851 a voting box was placed across the road in a grove of trees near Wyman Spring, when the area was still in Navarro County. All seventeen men in what would become Hill County voted there in the election. In 1852 a post office known as White Rock was established on White Rock Creek in the home of Henry Harlos (or Hollis) in Navarro County. In 1853, when Hill County was established, the Brandon area was in the new county. Joseph M. Martin built White Rock Mill on the creek before 1855, and by 1861 the Woods home in the community was used as an overnight stagecoach stop; it hosted such famous guests as Cynthia Ann Parker. In 1868 the name of the post office was changed to Jackson, probably to avoid confusion between the numerous White Rock communities in Texas. It had a post office only five months before it was withdrawn. The community received a post office in 1873 and was named Brandon. Dr. J. R. Harrington, a dentist, named the settlement and served as its first postmaster. The community was known as a health resort, and people camped near its several sulfur springs. Brandon was a prosperous community on the major road from Corsicana to Hillsboro. At one time it had a hotel, three churches, a school, a blacksmith shop, a cotton gin, and grocery, hardware, and drug stores.

In 1888 the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railway of Texas, which became the St. Louis Southwestern of Texas in 1891 and was known as the "Cotton Belt," was constructed through the county but missed Brandon. The citizens decided to move the community one mile northeast to be on the railroad. The new location was on the Calvin Parker and James McGee surveys, and the community was originally to be called Ferguson, for R. A. (Bob) Ferguson, who donated much of the townsite, but instead it took the name of the old townsite, Brandon. The town was laid out in 1888 and by 1890 had a population of seventy-five. By 1892 it was incorporated with W. N. Harris as mayor. Later that year a new school was built. In 1905 it had two teachers and ninety-three students. By 1914 Brandon had a population of 450 and two banks. In 1934 the population was 260, and State Highway 22 had been constructed through the community. With the removal of the railroad in 1936, the business population declined still further. In 1980, 1990, and 2000 the population was eighty. The community still had several active churches, a grocery store, a gas station, a cotton gin, and a grain elevator. "Old Brandon" still had a cemetery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Hill County Historical Commission, A History of Hill County, Texas, 1853–1980 (Waco: Texian, 1980).

Lisa C. Maxwell

Citation

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

Lisa C. Maxwell, "BRANDON, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnb73), accessed December 22, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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