Detroit, TX

By: Cecil Harper, Jr.

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

Detroit is on the Missouri Pacific Railroad and U.S. Highway 82, two miles from the Lamar county line in western Red River County. It developed around the proposed route of the Texas and Pacific Railway in the early 1870s. When the railroad was completed in 1876 the post office at nearby Starkesville was moved to the new town, which was named Bennett. In 1887 J. M. Stephens, the local railway agent, renamed the town Detroit for his former home in Michigan. Because of its location on the railroad the town soon became an important trading center and shipping point for area farmers. By 1884 the population had reached 200, and local institutions included two steam mills, two cotton gins, a church, and a district school. By 1890 the population had reached 750, and the town had a weekly newspaper, the New Era, published by S. B. Norwood. Two years later two hotels and a bank were in operation, and the population of Detroit was estimated at 900. By 1910 it had reached 1,500. During the years following 1910 the population of Detroit declined steadily, reaching a low of 425 by 1960. Then the town began to grow again, with populations of 726 and 805 reported in 1970 and 1980, respectively. In 1990 Detroit had 706 residents. The population was 776 in 2000.

Fred I. Massengill, Texas Towns: Origin of Name and Location of Each of the 2,148 Post Offices in Texas (Terrell, Texas, 1936).
  • Communities

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

Cecil Harper, Jr., “Detroit, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994

Currently Exists
Place Type
Town Fields
  • Has post office: Yes
  • Is Incorporated: Yes
Belongs to
  • Red River County
Associated Names



  • Latitude: 33.66019540°
  • Longitude: -95.26645300°
Population Counts
People Year
706 1990
776 2000
732 2010
697 2019