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Legislature replaces Alton (pop. 1) as Denton County seat


On this day in 1850, the state legislature chose a new site for the county seat of Denton County because of a lack of water at the former site, the town of Alton. The legislature had established Alton, less than a mile from the site of present-day Corinth in the east central part of the county, to replace Pinckneyville as county seat in 1848, and for nearly three years the residence of W. C. Baines, the only person living in Alton, served as the legal center of the county. The new site, five miles south of the site of present-day Denton near Hickory Creek, kept the name Alton, and by 1855 boasted at least two stores, a hotel, and a post office. In 1856, however, residents of the county demanded a new county seat. They argued that Alton was not in the center of the county, that the water from the standing pools in Hickory Creek had made a number of families ill, and that the development of the town had been unsatisfactory. As a result of these complaints, in an election held in November 1856, Denton County voters accepted an offer from Hiram Cisco, William Loving, and William Woodruff to provide 100 acres of their property for a new county seat. This new site, near the center of the county, was named Denton. Soon after the establishment of the new county seat Alton disappeared.

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