Lafayette, TX

By: Christopher Long

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: March 1, 1995

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LaFayette (Lafayette), at the junction of Farm roads 993 and 1975, thirteen miles northeast of Gilmer in extreme northern Upshur County, was first settled in the late 1850s and was named for LaFayette Locke, the son of M. F. Locke, an early settler. A post office opened there in 1858, and by the mid-1880s the community had several gristmills and cotton gins, three churches, a district school, and a population of thirty. A large deposit of iron ore, discovered nearby in the early 1890s, prompted a brief mining boom. The town's population grew to 400 by 1896. At its height during the iron boom, LaFayette had three cotton gins, a gristmill, a shingle mill, four general stores, several saloons, a Masonic lodge, and a weekly newspaper, the Iron Record. The boom proved to be short-lived, however, for investment money dried up as a result of the financial panics of the mid-1890s. After 1900 LaFayette declined. Its population dropped to 250 by 1914, and by the late 1930s it had two stores, a school, and a sawmill. The community's population in 1940 was listed as eighty, and it continued to decline during the 1950s, to a low of sixty in 1958. In the mid-1960s LaFayette had a community center, two churches, two cemeteries, and a number of scattered houses. In 1990 the town was a dispersed rural community with an estimated population of eighty. The population remained the same in 2000.

G. H. Baird, A Brief History of Upshur County (Gilmer, Texas: Gilmer Mirror, 1946). Doyal T. Loyd, History of Upshur County (Waco: Texian Press, 1987). Audie Ray, Lurline, and Douglas Ray Stanley, comps. and eds., Upshur County Cemetery Records (Gilmer, Texas, 1974).


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

Christopher Long, “Lafayette, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 17, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 1, 1995