Brian Hart

FATE, TEXAS. Fate is on State Highway 66 and the Missouri, Kansas and Texas line four miles northeast of Rockwall in northern Rockwall County. The community's name derives from the nickname, "Fate," given to Lafayette Brown, one of the area's early settlers, by his wife. A post office was established in the community in July 1880. By the mid-1880s Fate had a school, a cotton gin, two general stores, and a population of seventy-five. In 1886, in anticipation of the arrival of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas, Dr. Wylie T. Barnes platted a new community on his land about a half mile northeast of Fate, calling the new community Barnes City. The railroad built through later that year, and the residents and businesses of Fate moved to the new community. Seeking to avoid having to apply for a new post office, the residents of Barnes City changed their community's name to Fate in February 1887. By 1890 the community had fifteen businesses, a two-room school, two churches, and a population of 100. In 1899 the first rural mail route in Texas began operation from Fate. The population of the community continued to grow steadily through the 1890s and the first decades of the twentieth century, reaching 299 by 1920. The business community witnessed a similar growth, and Fate's first bank opened in 1907. Fate was incorporated in 1908. The federal highway reached the town after World War I.

During the 1920s and 1930s the small community began to decline. While agriculture remained the area's major occupation, better roads and automobiles took trade from local merchants to those in larger towns. Nonetheless, a bank, a drugstore, and a number of stores remained in business at Fate. Fate's school eventually dropped its high school grades, and the community's population declined to 194 by 1930 and 127 by 1940. During the 1940s and 1950s Fate lost businesses and residents to the growing cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. The number of businesses operating in Fate declined from fifteen to six during the 1940s. Since 1950, however, the population of Fate has increased, rising to 475 by 1990. In the 1990s many of the town's residents held jobs in the Dallas area, but Fate was still able to support four businesses. In 2000 the population was 497.

Rockwall County Historical Foundation, Rockwall County History (Dallas: Taylor, 1984). O. L. Steger, Sr., History of Rockwall County (Wolfe City, Texas: Henington, 1969).

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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, "FATE, TX," accessed November 18, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlf09.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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