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Lindale, TX

Vista K. McCroskey General Entry

Lindale is on the Missouri Pacific Railroad and U.S. Highway 69 ten miles north of Tyler in northwestern Smith County. The site, originally part of the Thomas Burbridge survey, was settled as early as 1873, when the Lyndale post office opened with John M. Davis as postmaster. The next year the spelling was changed to Lindale, and in 1875 the settlement became a station on the new International-Great Northern Railroad. Five years later the population had reached 300. By 1884 residents had begun shipping cotton and fruit, and the businesses included seven general stores, two groceries, a hotel, two drugstores, a gristmill, and a cotton gin, as well as the services of a gunsmith, a physician, and an undertaker. There were also two churches and a school. Citizens numbered 500 in 1892, when seven flour mills, the East Texas Canning Factory, and a high school had all been constructed. The J. S. Ogburn and Company Canning Factory, specializing in peaches, was established in 1895. On November 1, 1898, the Lindale City school system was established. Two years later fruit and truck farming had become the major sources of income.

In 1902 the population reached 1,200, making Lindale the third largest city in the county. The public school was a large, white, frame building with a bell chapel. A Methodist church and two Baptist churches were functioning. The largest store belonged to Ogburn and Huggins; others were Minton's Racket (general) Store, the T. J. Morris and Company drugstore, the J. A. Thetford and Company general store, and Pruitt and Cawthon's grocery. There was also a gin and mill belonging to J. E. Vickery. Dr. Wall was the town dentist, and Dr. J. T. Crook was the local physician. School enrollment, under superintendent Oliver Prince Norman, had reached 310, resulting in the construction of new buildings and an increase in staff. That year local women led a successful campaign to make the sale of alcoholic beverages illegal in Lindale.

In 1905 the town was incorporated. In 1914 it had 700 inhabitants, and the Lindale Reporter was published on a weekly basis. The community also had restaurants, millinery and notions stores, two banks, and the Brazelton Prior Lumber Company. By 1921 the second hard-surface road in the county, the Jim Hogg Highway, had been constructed from Tyler to Lindale. During the Great Depression the town was kept alive by the presence of nearby Civilian Conservation Corp Camp 896, and farmers in the area participated in the Duck Creek Project, searching for ways to prevent soil erosion. In 1936 the school system had an elementary school with two teachers for Black children and a school with twenty-two teachers for White children. Postwar prosperity brought a population increase to 1,101. Lindale Boys' Ranch was dedicated in 1949, and by 1952 the surrounding schools had been consolidated into the Lindale Independent School District. A new post office was built in 1959. Maps for the following year showed five churches, a downtown business district, and a sizable school. In 1965 the population was 1,285. Lindale continued to grow, particularly in the 1970s, because of its proximity to Tyler and Interstate Highway 20, the fertility of the soil, and the educational facilities. In 1989 the town reported 2,671 residents and 113 businesses. In 1990 the population was 2,428. By 2000 the population was 2,954 with 398 businesses.

Chronicles of Smith County, Spring 1966, Fall 1967, Spring 1968, Fall 1969, Summer 1978. Edward Clayton Curry, An Administrative Survey of the Schools of Smith County, Texas (M.Ed. thesis, University of Texas, 1938). Smith County Historical Society, Historical Atlas of Smith County (Tyler, Texas: Tyler Print Shop, 1965). Donald W. Whisenhunt, comp., Chronological History of Smith County (Tyler, Texas: Smith County Historical Society, 1983). Albert Woldert, A History of Tyler and Smith County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1948).


  • Communities

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

Vista K. McCroskey, “Lindale, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 26, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 24, 2020

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