SMITHLAND, TEXAS. Smithland, on State Highway 49 twelve miles northeast of Jefferson in eastern Marion County, was named for John Frank Smith, who moved to the site in 1842, when it was still part of Cass County. An earlier Smithland site (or “old” Smithland) was located approximately three miles northeast of Jefferson and was drawn on surveys by the late 1830s. A post office for the “new” site of Smithland opened in 1850. In 1884 Smithland had an estimated population of fifty, a steam sawmill, gristmills, and a cotton gin; the community shipped cotton. In 1892 R. B. Smith served as the town constable. Smith and Samuel Fountain Moseley owned a general store, flour mill, and gin, and there was a Presbyterian church in the community. Smithland School enrolled some twenty-eight white pupils in 1899. By 1914 Smithland had ten general stores, a cotton gin, telephone service, and an estimated 100 inhabitants. The community reached a peak population of 200 in the 1920s but declined in the 1930s to 150. In 1938 the two-room school accommodated thirty-five elementary pupils and two teachers. It was consolidated with the Jefferson schools in the 1960s. The number of rated businesses reported in the community slowly declined from ten in 1943 to two in 1968 and to one in 1978. The population rose in the 1960s to 179, the figure reported in 2000. In 1986 the community had four grocery stores and an automobile repair shop, but no businesses were listed in 2000. In 2010 the population was still reported at 179.


Jack Reed Harvey, Survey and Proposed Reorganization of the Marion County Schools (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1940). Jefferson Jimplecute, 100th Anniversary Issue, June 17, 1965.

Mark Odintz

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:

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, Mark Odintz, "Smithland, TX," accessed January 23, 2018,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on September 6, 2016. 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!