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Vista K. McCroskey

BROOKSTON, TEXAS. Brookston is at the intersection of Farm roads 38, 1506, 1509, and the Missouri Pacific Railroad, just south of U.S. Highway 82 and five miles west of Paris in west central Lamar County. The town, originally part of the Zachariah Westfall survey, was established in 1870; it became the temporary terminus of the Texas and Pacific Railway when completion of the road was delayed during the panic of 1873. The post office was established that year and named for A. D. Brooks, owner of the land. By 1884 the population had reached 100, and Brookston was an important cotton-shipping point. Contemporary businesses included two general stores, a steam-powered cotton gin, a corn mill, a saloon, and a Western Union telegraph office. Mail arrived daily. Citizens numbered 500 in 1890. A new cotton gin was soon opened, as well as two more general stores, four groceries, a blacksmith shop, a butcher shop, a drugstore, a candy emporium, and a wagonmaking establishment. Within two years three churches were established, and residents acquired access to a telephone exchange. The major new commercial enterprise was Mrs. M. Hemphill's hotel. Municipal officials included Constable A. R. Bryant and Justice of the Peace C. G. Hunt. The school had been organized by 1896, when ninety-nine students were enrolled. It had two teachers.

The early railroad years were the most successful for Brookston, however, and by 1904 the population had decreased to 237. In 1914 the town had 225 citizens, a new hardware store, and a life insurance company, but some businesses were closing. Though the number of inhabitants had increased to 300 by 1925, the economic boom of the early days never returned. The town was also hard hit by the Great Depression. In 1930 only 130 people lived in Brookston. Many local residents moved away to metropolitan areas in search of work. Some of these had returned by 1933, but the number of businesses had decreased from twelve in 1931 to eight. Maps for 1936 showed three churches and two school buildings. By 1957 the school system had been consolidated with the West Lamar Independent School District, and residents numbered 250. In 1970 the number of businesses had dropped to two, and the population had decreased to 200. Maps for 1984 identified two churches, a small school building, and a cluster of dwellings. In 1990 Brookston had seventy inhabitants, three stores, and the post office. The population remained unchanged in 2000.

Thomas S. Justiss, An Administrative Survey of the Schools of Lamar County with a Plan for Their Reorganization (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1937).

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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, Vista K. McCroskey, "BROOKSTON, TX," accessed July 09, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnb84.

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