Bagwell is at the intersection of Ranch roads 2120 and 2573, seven miles northwest of Clarksville and six miles east of Detroit in western Red River County. It was named for Milas (Miles) Bagwell, who operated a tannery and blacksmith shop in the area, and was built on the Texas and Pacific Railway when it was constructed through the county in 1875–76. The post office in Robbinsville, a small community 2½ miles to the south, seems to have been moved to the new town of Bagwell in 1876. By 1884 Bagwell had cotton gins, a sawmill, a gristmill, a church, a district school, and a population of 200. The town was a railroad shipping point for lumber and shingles produced in town and cotton and cottonseed produced by area farmers. By 1914 the population had reached 300, and two small banks were in operation. The population was 400 in the late 1920s, 250 in the late 1930s and 350 in 1947. By 1961 U.S. Highway 82 had bypassed Bagwell, and the population of the town had begun to decline sharply. It was 195 in 1964, 95 in 1970, and 108 in 1980. In 1986 the town had four businesses. In 1990 and 2000 the population was 150.