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RITA, TX

RITA, TEXAS. Rita is on the south bank of Dam Creek two miles west of the Brazos River in the blackland prairie of the fertile Brazos bottoms in northeastern Burleson County. Settlement of the area began during the summer of 1830, when Fort Tenoxtitlán, a frontier defense post of the province of Coahuila and Texas, was constructed by Lt. Col. José Francisco Ruiz on the Brazos at the mouth of Dam Creek. Though the fort and its surrounding settlement was abandoned in 1832, an Anglo-American community and trading post remained in the vicinity until about 1860. In the late 1800s Rita was established on Teal Prairie, two miles west of the site of the fort, on the former bounty grant of John Teal, a veteran of the Army of the Republic of Texas. A post office operated at Rita from 1894 to 1905. Oil exploration began in the area around 1900. During World War I an active Red Cross chapter was organized in the town. In 1939 Rita had an estimated twenty residents and one business. Its population climbed to about fifty in 1968 and was reported at that level through 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Burleson County Historical Society, Astride the Old San Antonio Road: A History of Burleson County, Texas (Dallas: Taylor, 1980). Malcolm D. McLean, "Tenoxtitlán, Dream Capitol of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 70 (April 1967).

Charles Christopher Jackson

Citation

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

Charles Christopher Jackson, "RITA, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnr31), accessed April 18, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.