Winnsboro, TX

By: Christopher Long

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1995

Winnsboro (Winnsborough), an incorporated city, is at the junction of State highways 11 and 37, fifteen miles northeast of Quitman in northeastern Wood County and extends into Franklin County. The town, first settled in the early 1850s, was named for John E. Wynn, an Englishman who settled in the area. Originally the settlement's name was spelled Wynnsborough, but when a post office was established in 1855, it was changed to Winnsborough. By 1861 the community had, in addition to the post office, two general stores and a church. After the Civil War it grew rapidly; in 1876 the East Line and Red River Railroad built a narrow-gauge road west from Jefferson, and Winnsborough developed into an important local shipping center. By 1885, Winnsborough, now incorporated, had Baptist, Methodist, and Cumberland Presbyterian churches, schools, eight steam grist and cotton gins, an opera house, a weekly newspaper, the Sentinel, and some 700 inhabitants. In 1893 the town's name was shortened to Winnsboro, evidently at the request of city leaders. In 1904 the Texas Southern Railroad built through the town, and by 1914 the flourishing community had four banks, two potteries, a public library, a cottonseed mill, two weekly newspapers, the Wide Awake and the Wortham Messenger, and a population of 2,300. The onset of the Great Depression and plummeting cotton prices in the early 1930s combined to bring hard times for Winnsboro. The population dropped to 1,900 in 1936, and many businesses were forced to shut their doors. After World War II, however, the town began to grow again. A new hospital, a high school, and a 917-acre lake were completed. Autumn Trails, a fall nature show, featured theater productions, arts and crafts, music conventions, and other events. In 1970 the city reported 155 businesses, eight churches, a hospital, a library, and a newspaper. Since the mid-1960s the population has been steadily growing, and in 2000 Winnsboro had 3,584 residents and 354 businesses.

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

Christopher Long, “Winnsboro, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 09, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1995

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


  • Latitude: 32.95576740°
  • Longitude: -95.29108800°
Population Counts
People Year
388 1890
899 1900
1,741 1910
2,184 1920
1,905 1930
2,092 1940
2,512 1950
2,675 1960
3,064 1970
3,458 1980
2,904 1990
3,584 2000
3,252 2010
3,401 2019
Great Texas Land Rush logo
Adoption Status: ⭐
This place has been adopted and will not be available until September 6, 2022
Adopted by:
Shannon,Shiane and Nikki Brewer