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RANKIN, TEXAS (Ellis County). Rankin is near the intersection of Farm roads 877 and 984, fifteen miles southeast of Waxahachie in southeastern Ellis County. The area was settled by Thomas F. Alston, who built the first house there in 1876. This region apparently was also popular with various outlaws, including Sam Bass, Bonnie Parker, and Clyde Barrow.qqv The settlement received a post office under the name Astonia in 1879 and grew slowly during the remainder of the nineteenth century. By 1892 it had two businesses, three churches, and a school. In March 1900 the community changed its name to Rankin and received a post office under this name. The new name was for Frederick Harrison Rankin, one of Stephen F. Austin's original Old Three Hundred settlers, who had settled on Chambers Creek in Ellis County before 1874. The Rankin post office operated for five years. In 1933 Rankin had a population of thirty-four and three businesses. After climbing to a high of seventy-five in 1945, the population declined to forty by 1964. In 1990 it was twelve. The population remained the same in 2000.


Edna Davis Hawkins, et al., History of Ellis County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1972). Memorial and Biographical History of Ellis County (Chicago: Lewis, 1892; rpt., as Ellis County History, Fort Worth: Historical Publishers, 1972).

Brian Hart


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

Brian Hart, "RANKIN, TX (ELLIS COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 29, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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