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OSCEOLA, TEXAS. Osceola is on State Highway 171 and Farm Road 934, fifteen miles north of Hillsboro in north central Hill County. Anglo-American settlers began moving into the area as early as the 1850s, but the settlement itself was established about 1878 by Dick Gee and J. L. Burgess. It was apparently named for the Seminole Indian leader whose followers fought against United States troops in the Florida Everglades from 1835 to 1842. Though the community remained largely unorganized until the early 1900s, a post office opened there in 1878. John A. Stephens ensured a rail connection for the town when he donated a half interest in a fifty-acre tract for a townsite just northwest of the original settlement to officials of the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway. That line's tracks were extended through the new Osceola, and by January 26, 1904, it had train service. The community shipped cotton, grains, and hay. In the first decade of the twentieth century Osceola had a cotton gin, a blacksmith shop, a lumberyard, a jewelry store, a grocery store, and a banking and commercial complex. A one-room school registered 116 students and employed two teachers in 1905–06; an independent school district was organized in October 1906. By the mid-1920s some 400 persons lived in Osceola. During the Great Depression the bank and lumberyard closed, and the Trinity and Brazos Valley line ceased operations. Yet the Osceola population was still reported at 400 in 1936. By the mid-1940s it had risen to 525, with thirteen businesses. In 1976 Osceola had 363 people and six businesses. In 1990 its population was ninety. The population remained the same in 2000.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Hill County Historical Commission, A History of Hill County, Texas, 1853–1980 (Waco: Texian, 1980).
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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, "Osceola, TX," accessed April 25, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hno19.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.