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MABANK, TEXAS. Mabank is on U.S. Highway 175, Farm Road 90, and the Southern Pacific Railroad, sixteen miles southeast of Kaufman in the southeastern corner of Kaufman County. The area was first settled by Lorenzo D. Stover in 1846. Other settlers soon moved in, and the site was purchased and platted in 1887 by John R. Jones, a merchant from nearby Goshen in Henderson County. Jones named the site Lawn City, for a popular cotton dress material he sold in his store. The name was changed to Lawndale, probably when the community received a post office in November 1887. In 1900 the Southern Pacific Railroad bypassed Lawndale by less than one mile. G. W. Mason and Thomas Eubank, the owners of the nearby Mason-Eubank Ranch, across which the rail line was constructed, realized the potential that the railroad represented and quickly set aside a one-square-mile tract which they called Mabank, a combination of the name Mason and Eubank. They platted the site on February 23, 1900. A post office began operations at Mabank in the same year.
Because of the railroad and the fertility of the soil Mabank grew rapidly. A number of Lawndale residents and businesses, disappointed that the railroad had missed their town, moved to the new community. In August 1900 the town's founders established the Mabank Land Company to sell land. An ambulance service operated in the community around 1900 and the Eubank funeral home opened in 1904. In 1910 the community had a population of 412, three churches, a Masonic lodge, a public library, and a baseball club. In 1907 a canning company went into business, and in 1909 the Mabank Banner began publication. The town was incorporated on October 9, 1911. With agriculture in the surrounding area as its economic foundation, Mabank continued to grow. Cotton was the region's principal crop prior to World War I. Considerable oil exploration took place around Mabank between 1917 and 1925, although little oil was discovered. The town's population reached 963 and its business enterprises numbered seventy by 1936. A bank was opened in Mabank the following year.
Unlike many small Texas towns, Mabank did not decline notably between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s. Its population stood at 988 in 1945, 896 in 1955, and 995 in 1966, while the number of local businesses remained relatively stable at forty. After 1966 Mabank grew dramatically, largely due to the completion of Cedar Creek Reservoir (also known as Cedar Creek Lake) in 1965. The reservoir has attracted new residents—both retirees and younger people who commute to jobs in the Dallas area—as well as tourists to the town. Mabank had a population of 1,500 in 1976 and 1,739 in 1990. In 2000 the community had 2,151 inhabitants.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Robert Richard Butler, History of Kaufman County, Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1940). Kaufman County Historical Commission, History of Kaufman County (Dallas: Taylor, 1978).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Brian Hart, "Mabank, TX," accessed April 27, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjm01.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.