HICO, TEXAS. Hico, at the junction of U.S. Highway 281 and State highways 6 and 220, in northeastern Hamilton County, was named by its founder, Dr. John R. Alford, for his hometown in Kentucky. The original site in the mid-1850s was on Honey Creek. A post office was established in 1860, closed in 1867, and reopened in 1871. By 1874 the town had eight businesses, including a cotton gin, although most residents raised cattle and horses. Construction of the Texas Central Railroad in 1880 prompted the citizens to move 2½ miles to the line. Hico was incorporated in 1883 and became the county's shipping center. In 1882 an Old Settlers' Reunion was established in the community. The population was 1,480 in 1890, when a fire destroyed business houses on the east side of Pecan Street. A few weeks later another fire ravaged the west side. Rebuilding in stone ended the fire menace, but periodic overflows of the Bosque River have remained a threat to low-lying areas. Over the years Hico has prospered as a cotton and cattle market center. In 1940, although its population had declined to 1,242, the town was incorporated and had a post office, a bank, and fifty businesses. Hico had a population low of 925 in 1970, but by 1980 it had rebounded to 1,375. At that time the town had a post office, at least one bank, and thirty-five businesses. In 1990 the population was 1,342, and in 2000 it was 1,341.
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Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.