Cecil Harper, Jr.

AVINGER, TEXAS. Avinger is on the Louisiana and Arkansas railway at the junction of State highways 49 and 155, eight miles southeast of Hughes Springs in southwestern Cass County. Hickory Hill, a settlement that began in the early 1840s, was located a mile south of the site of Avinger. A post office was established there in 1848 with Thomas M. Kimbell as postmaster, and at its height it had a school house, two or three churches, a store, a gravelyard, a tannery, and several residences. In 1876 the East Line and Red River Railroad was built through the area, and a station was located at the current site of Avinger. Gradually the businesses began to relocate, and when the post office was moved in 1877 it was renamed Avinger in honor of Dr. H. J. Avinger, who operated the first store at the new location. The town became a shipping point for lumbermen and area farmers and by 1884 had two churches, a school, saw and grist mills, a gin, and a population of fifty. By 1892 the population had increased to 100, and by 1914 the town supported numerous businesses including a small bank and had an estimated population of 500.

The population of the town remained stable until the late 1920s; it rose from an estimated 505 in 1925 to an estimated 700 in 1929. By 1931, in the trough of the Great Depression, the population had dropped to an estimated 450. The town was incorporated in the 1930s. During World War II the United States Defense Corporation built the Lone Star Steel Plant a few miles west of Avinger. In 1949 the town began extensive renovations, in the hopes that the large nearby industry would encourage growth. Bonds were voted that built a new high school, water system, and sewer system. The town's antiquated crank telephone system was replaced by a dial system, and many of streets were paved. The population reached its height of 750 in 1960. In 1980 Avinger had a population of 671 and twenty-one rated businesses; by 1990 the number of residents had fallen to 478. In 2000 the population dropped to 464.


Avinger Citizen, June 18, 1954. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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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, Cecil Harper, Jr., "AVINGER, TX," accessed August 24, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hla33.

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Modified on January 18, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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