DEXTER, TEXAS. Dexter is near the Red River twenty-five miles northeast of Gainesville in extreme northeastern Cooke County. It began as a town around 1870 with the arrival of the first settlers, Jesse Morris, S. E. and Dick Collum, and Bill Munday. The first choice for a townsite was Sugar Hill, three miles east of the final location, which was chosen because it had a natural spring that offered a stopping point for travelers. Morris is credited with the idea of naming the town after a famous racehorse of that time. By 1873 Dexter had its own post office, and by the early 1880s its population of 300 was served by at least thirty-seven businesses, including four blacksmith shops, three hotels, a district school, two steam gristmills and cotton gins, and four physicians. Dexter was expected to overtake Gainesville as the largest town in Cooke County when residents thought the Denison and Pacific Railway was going to pass through it, but when the rail line passed through Woodbine, a small town twenty miles south, Dexter began to decline. Many businesses and residents moved to other towns, mostly to Ardmore, Indian Territory. On February 28, 1885, residents of Dexter voted thirty to eighteen to incorporate. This incorporation did not stop the steady decline in population, although the city government remained in place until about 1900. From the late 1960s to 1987 seventy people lived in the general area. In 1988 the only institution remaining in Dexter was the Dexter Community Church. In 2000 the population was eighteen.
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, Robert Wayne McDaniel, "Dexter, TX," accessed May 29, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnd19.
Uploaded on June 12, 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