RAVENNA, TEXAS. Ravenna is on Farm roads 274 and 1753, five miles northwest of Bonham and six miles south of the Red River in northwestern Fannin County. Settlers, among them John Hilyard Tackitt, Alonzo Larkin, J. T. Crawford, and T. A. Patillo, began moving into the area as early as 1850. The small community that developed was first known as Willow Point. By the 1870s four or five families had built homes, as well as a Christian church, which was still in use in the 1980s. By the mid-1880s the community had a population of 150 and a post office called Ravenna; the name, local tradition has it, was for the numerous ravines in the vicinity, especially a deep ravine that cut through the middle of the townsite. At that time Ravenna included some ten businesses, including a steam sawmill, a cotton gin, and a gristmill. The community incorporated in 1887. A school, Ravenna College, was established by G. L. Marshall and Kate Wolfe and offered private education to local children until it was moved to Ector in 1889. The Denison, Bonham and New Orleans Railroad built tracks through Ravenna in 1891, and during the early 1890s the population reached 400, served by some thirty businesses. Though the number of residents had fallen to 290 by 1900, Ravenna still maintained a number of businesses, including a weekly newspaper and a bank. By the eve of World War I, however, it had grown again, to 500 residents and thirteen businesses. By 1915 the Missouri, Kansas and Texas had taken over the tracks that ran through Ravenna. During the late 1920s Ravenna still served as a trade and cotton center and maintained some twenty-five businesses, including at least two banks, but by that time its population had fallen to 412, and rail service to the town had been discontinued. Between 1936 and 1966 the population fell from 254 to 145, and the number of businesses shrank from eighteen to three. The Ravenna school was annexed by the Bonham school system in 1949. The population of Ravenna was reported at 199 in 1990 and 215 in 2000.
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, Brian Hart, "Ravenna, TX," accessed May 27, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlr02.
Uploaded on June 15, 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