KERENS, TEXAS. Kerens, at the junction of State highways 31 and 309 and Farm roads 667 and 3096, fourteen miles east of Corsicana in eastern Navarro County, was established in 1881 when the St. Louis Southwestern Railway of Texas built through the county. It was named for Judge R. C. Kerens of St. Louis. The railroad bypassed the nearby settlement of Wadeville, and within a short time all of the businesses from Wadeville moved to the new town. Two attorneys in Corsicana, Samuel R. Frost and Bryan F. Barry, bought the plat and offered lots for sale in 1881 and 1882. A post office opened in 1882, and the town was incorporated in 1888. W. P. Noble was the first mayor, and Sam Sluggs was sheriff. By the mid-1890s the town had three cotton gin-mills, four grocery stores, two hotels, two drug stores, a wagonmaker, and a weekly newspaper named the Navarro Blade. The estimated population in 1896 was 500. The first school was built shortly after the town was founded, and by 1906 two schools were operating, one with 242 white students and one with 121 black students. Kerens reached a peak population of 1,800 in 1929 and afterward declined. By 1950 the town had a population of 1,287 and forty-four registered businesses. In 1961 the population reached a low of 1,123. In 1990 Kerens had a population of 1,702 and twenty-three businesses. The population dropped to 1,681 by 2000, but the community supported eighty-six businesses.
Annie Carpenter Love, History of Navarro County (Dallas: Southwestern, 1933). Wyvonne Putman, comp., Navarro County History (4 vols., Quanah, Texas: Nortex, 1975–84).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Christopher Long, "KERENS, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjk04), accessed February 08, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles