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Odessa Morrow Isbell

BLOOMFIELD, TEXAS. Bloomfield was on a road that is now Farm Road 372, fifteen miles southeast of Gainesville in southeastern Cooke County. The community was reportedly settled in 1876 and had a post office from 1877 to 1907. Mrs. Angeline Jackson, sister of the first postmaster, named the community for a field of yellow wildflowers. The first settler was probably Alfred Robison, a widower who moved with his children to Texas from Tennessee before the Civil War. Crockett Robison operated a store and served as first postmaster at Bloomfield, and Claude Robison established the first cotton gin in the community. Other early settlers were Perry Pierce, Jeff Montgomery, Reason Jones, Louis Jordan, Robert Jones, Pat and Steve Sanders, Parson Boling, Alex Davis, and Tom Wooten. Dr. John S. Riley, who settled two miles west of Bloomfield in 1871, was an uncle of the poet James Whitcomb Riley.

Methodist, Baptist, and Church of Christ congregations were organized and met in the school building; no church building was ever erected. The Old Union School, the first school to serve the area, was a small, one-room log structure on Reason Jones's land. John Shipley was the teacher. The first school closer to Bloomfield was established in 1879 and taught first by E. E. Runion (Runyon). Some years later two other schools were built, in the eastern and western parts of the school district. After these two buildings were destroyed by a tornado in 1888, a single school was rebuilt on the west side of Bloomfield. In 1929 the Bloomfield school district was incorporated with the new Union Grove district.

Bloomfield reached the zenith of its development in the 1880s. By 1884 it had four stores, steam gristmill-cotton gins, Methodist and Baptist congregations, and a population of 300. By 1890 the population stood at 350, but by 1892 it had declined to 100, and in 1896 to thirty-five. The flour mill closed down in 1890, and the last gin was moved to Burns City around 1902. Bloomfield continued as a dispersed settlement through the first half of the twentieth century; it recorded a population of forty-seven from 1933 to 1948 and of twenty from 1949 to 1962. During the 1960s it reported around 100, although the 1963 county map showed only a cemetery at the site. From 1968 through 1987 a population of thirty was reported. The project area of Lake Ray Roberts, a reservoir under construction in the late 1980s, included the site of Bloomfield. The old Bloomfield schoolhouse was moved to the grounds of the University of North Texas in Denton for preservation.

Gainesville Daily Register and Messenger, August 30, 1948. Oral Histories Concerning Bloomfield, Cooke County Library, Gainesville, Texas. A. Morton Smith, The First 100 Years in Cooke County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1955).

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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, Odessa Morrow Isbell, "BLOOMFIELD, TX," accessed July 08, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrb38.

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