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Lisa C. Maxwell

JOY, TEXAS (Clay County). Joy is a mile west of the intersection of Farm Road 173 and State Highway 148, sixteen miles south of Henrietta and thirty miles southeast of Wichita Falls in southern Clay County. Joy Creek runs through the Joy oilfield north of the community. Joy was known as Fanninton, Fannintown, or Fannin Town when it was established by a group of settlers from Fannin County about 1880. In 1881 the community's first school was taught in an abandoned log cabin, and a Methodist church was established. Early settlers went to Gainesville for supplies. The local grasslands attracted the Red River Cattle Company, which fenced large areas. Fence-cutting became a local issue before 1884, when the state legislature made it a felony. In 1895 the community received a post office, and it was at this time that the name was changed to Joy. The post office operated there until the 1930s. By 1914 Joy had a population of twenty-three, telephone connections, a blacksmith, a grocer, and a general store. In the next decade its population rose to thirty-seven, where it continued to be reported until the early 1940s, when it reached 150, with seven businesses. Oil was discovered in the Joy field in 1942. By the early 1960s Joy reported one business. In the 1980s three churches and a cemetery remained in the community, and in 1990 the nearby Joy field had fourteen wells with a combined total production of 25,000,000 barrels of crude oil. The population of Joy was still reported as 150 in 1990. The population dropped to 100 by 2000.

Katherine Christian Douthitt, ed., Romance and Dim Trails (Dallas: Tardy, 1938). Fred Tarpley, 1001 Texas Place Names (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980).

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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, Lisa C. Maxwell, "JOY, TX (CLAY COUNTY)," accessed April 24, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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