Dougherty, TX (Rains County)

By: Laurie E. Jasinski

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: November 18, 2004

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Dougherty, also known as Daugherty, is a rural community located near the junction of Farm roads 275 and 514 about six miles north of Emory in northern Rains County. The settlement was established by pioneer James W. Dougherty when he, his wife Isabella, and their family migrated from Kentucky to Texas in the 1840s as members of the Mercer Colony. Dougherty purchased 640 acres in 1851 and worked as a farmer and tanner. He died in 1863, and his grave was located on a plot of land that his son Robert Newberry Dougherty donated to the community of Dougherty as a cemetery in 1877. In the 1870s a Baptist church was organized. R. N. Dougherty built a home in 1880 that served as a community gathering place and later as headquarters of Dougherty Rural Telephone Company. By the 1890s a school operated in the area, and in May 1899, the Daugherty School became its own county school district. In the 1930s Dougherty consisted of the school, church, several businesses, and farms and homes. The school, which had also served as a church and community center on occasion, closed in 1952. In 1960 the town had a population of 200 and 5 businesses. Population figures declined to 140 in 1970 and 75 in the 1980s and 1990s. Over the years confusion and debate arose regarding the spelling of the town name. Descendants of the founding family argued in support of the original spelling of Doughery with an "o." Other residents favored Daugherty with an "a." The fact that Daugherty Baptist Church was spelled with an "a" added to the controversy. Highway maps and the Geographic Names Information System listed the community as Dougherty. The Dougherty Cemetery, located about a mile south of the community, received a Texas Historical Marker in 1980, and the Dougherty Community Homeplace, built by Robert Newberry, received a Texas Historical Marker in 1983. The 2000 census reported a population of 342. A community center was located at the old schoolhouse site.

Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin (Dougherty Community Cemetery, Dougherty Community Homeplace, Rains County). Rains County Site, TXGenWeb (, accessed September 20, 2004. Vertical File (Rains County, Texas), Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


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

Laurie E. Jasinski, “Dougherty, TX (Rains County),” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 18, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 18, 2004