While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Cecil Harper, Jr.

BOSTON, TEXAS. Boston, the county seat of Bowie County, is just south of U.S. Highway 82 and the Missouri Pacific Railroad and twenty-two miles west of Texarkana in central Bowie County. In the mid-1880s citizens of Texarkana and eastern Bowie County succeeded in a campaign to mark Texarkana the county seat (see OLD BOSTON, TEXAS). About five years later the citizens of western and central Bowie County were able to get a new election to choose another county seat; they proposed locating the geographic center of the county and building the courthouse there. Their campaign succeeded, and in 1890 construction of a new courthouse began at a site a mile south of New Boston and three miles north of the older city named Boston. Residents applied for a new post office under the name Center, but because a town by that name already existed, the request was denied; the names Hood and Glass were not accepted for the same reason. Because the law required a post office at every county seat, the post office was moved from the original Boston community. The name was transferred also, and the original Boston site became known as Old Boston. The new county seat had a population of 175 by 1896, and its population remained at around that level through the early 1990s. Because of its proximity to the much larger town of New Boston, Boston never developed a substantial commercial base. Through the mid-1980s it had never reported more than five rated businesses; in 1982 it had only two. In 1984, though the city limits of Boston and New Boston touched, the two towns maintained their separate identities and post offices. In 1986 a new Bowie County Courthouse was built in New Boston, but Boston remained the official county seat. The population of Boston was reported at 200 in the early 1990s and remained the same in 2000.

Dallas Morning News, March 6, 1938.

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, Cecil Harper, Jr., "BOSTON, TX," accessed July 10, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlb45.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on TexasAlmanac.com!
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...