Latexo, previously known as Stark's Switch, is an incorporated rural community five miles north of Crockett on U.S. Highway 287 and State Highway 19 in north central Houston County. It was established in 1872, when the International and Great Northern Railroad was constructed through the area. The railroad built a small siding to serve nearby Stark's Sawmill, and a community, known as Stark's Switch, developed. Just after 1900 the Louisiana Texas Orchard Company purchased 3,000 acres surrounding the settlement and platted a town named Latexo, an acronym of the company's name. A post office opened in 1907, and by 1914 the town had a lumberyard, a sawmill, two general stores, two physicians, and an estimated population of 200. Most area farmers made their living from fruit, cotton, and lumber. A school was established shortly after the town was platted, and in 1915 it became the first Houston County school to offer courses in agriculture. The town prospered from 1910 into the 1920s, and by the early 1930s it had a population of 400 and three businesses. In the mid-1930s Latexo had several churches, a sawmill, and a number of houses. After World War II many of its residents moved away, and by 1950 its population had dwindled to 100. The town continued to decline during the 1960s and early 1970s, reaching a population of ninety-three, served by two businesses, by 1975. During the 1980s, spurred by the growth of nearby Crockett, Latexo began to grow again, and in 1990 it reported a population of 329 and four businesses. In 2000 the population was 272. The town still had Baptist and Methodist churches. A new city hall, a fire station, and a school complex were constructed during the 1980s.
Support Texas History Now
Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Eliza H. Bishop, “Latexo, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 27, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/latexo-tx.
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.