BATSON, TEXAS. Batson is on State Highway 105 and Farm Road 770 in southwestern Hardin County. It had a post office from 1891 to 1898 called Otto, for settler R. Otto Middlebrook. The community was settled before 1840 by the Batson brothers and others, who lived in mud houses. They later built a church that also served as a school. Two schools known as Batson Prairie operated in the area in 1897 with twenty-four and forty-four students, respectively. With the discovery of an oilfield a half mile north of Otto in October 1903, the town and post office were moved to a site just south of the oilfield, and a city of 10,000 sprang up overnight. This new community was named for pioneer Eli Batson. Four hotels, ten saloons, general merchandise stores, a livery, and a blacksmith were soon in operation. By 1906 Batson had three schools, five teachers, and 252 students, and by 1914 it had three churches and a bank. The population declined to 600 by 1927 as oil production decreased, but another oilfield, New Batson, was discovered in March 1935. State highway maps in 1936 showed two churches, two stores, a school, and the post office in the community. The population rose to 1,000 and the number of businesses to fifteen in the 1930s. From 1950 until 1970 Batson declined to a population of 200 and eight businesses. In the 1980s two churches, multiple businesses, and nearby Jordan Cemetery remained. In 1990 and 2000 the population was 140.
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.Handbook of Texas Online, Diana J. Kleiner, "Batson, TX," accessed May 25, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlb13.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
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