Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon

DERBY, TX

DERBY, TEXAS. Derby is on the Missouri Pacific line at the intersection of Interstate Highway 35 and Farm Road 1583, nine miles southwest of Pearsall in south central Frio County. Englishman John Bennett, an engineer for the International-Great Northern Railroad, moved to the site in 1879 and helped manage the construction of the I-GN extension through Lenore from Melon to the Mexican border in 1882–83. In 1882 a post office called Lenore was established in the developing community. The post office and a rail depot at the site on lands owned by Bennett were eventually renamed Derby in honor of his English birthplace. In 1883 Bennett constructed a dam, known as Derby Dam, in the area, and shortly thereafter he had a town surveyed into lots, including lots for a church and a school. Sometime before 1885 he expanded the depot with a spur for loading vegetables and changed the name of the community to Otley, in honor of his wife's home in England. By 1906 the community was again called Derby and had several schools with a total of three teachers and fifty-five students. Derby was an emerging farming center in 1935. Eight large artesian wells in the community were used to irrigate fields of cotton, as well as onions, spinach, carrots, beets, and a variety of other vegetables. In 1936 the community had an estimated population of fifty, three businesses, and a church. No businesses were reported in Derby by 1971, though its population remained an estimated fifty. In the early 1990s its population was still reported as fifty and the Derby Cemetery was located southeast of the townsite. The population remained at fifty in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Pearsall Leader, May 24, 1935. Mrs. W. A. Roberts, "Frio County Has a Colorful History," Frontier Times, June 1936.
Ruben E. Ochoa

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.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Ruben E. Ochoa, "Derby, TX," accessed May 02, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnd12.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. 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 TexasAlmanac.com!