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GOUGH, TEXAS. Gough, also known as Bess, is just south of the intersection of Farm roads 2068 and 1528, six miles southwest of Cooper in southwestern Delta County. It was probably named for Lycurgus Gough, a minister who helped obtain the postal service, or for the owner of the first general store. The area was settled early in the 1880s, and the Goughs were among the early families. The first school opened in 1882. In 1888 the post office opened with John C. Bailey as postmaster. In 1890 the community had fifty residents, including a blacksmith, a carpenter, and three physicians. The major business was the Hollon and Bailey mill and gin, and W. S. Bannister served as justice of the peace. Mail arrived on a semiweekly basis.

When the railroads moved into Delta late in the nineteenth century, they failed to pass through Gough. As Klondike, the nearest rail stop, grew, the surrounding farm communities began to decline. Gough still appeared on postal maps for 1901, but the post office was discontinued the following year. School records for 1905 listed eighty-seven students and one teacher. Maps for 1936 showed a school, a business, and a cluster of dwellings at the site. In 1947 Gough had sixty inhabitants, two stores, the school, and a church. The Gough school district was divided between the West Delta and Cooper districts in 1950. By 1964 only the cemetery remained on the old settlement site. Maps for 1984 still identified the cemetery.


John J. Germann and Myron Janzen, Texas Post Offices by County (1986). Paul Garland Hervey, A History of Education in Delta County, Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1951). Wilma Ross and Billie Phillips, Photos and Tales of Delta County (1976).

Vista K. McCroskey


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

Vista K. McCroskey, "GOUGH, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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