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PIRTLE, TEXAS. Pirtle is a farming community just east of U.S. Highway 259 ten miles north of Henderson in northern Rusk County. Before the Civil War it was known as Belleview or Bellview. Bellview, which had a post office as early as 1856, once boasted the biggest racetrack in Rusk County. A famous horse, Old Shiloh, sometimes changed color and names between races to Graham's Lake, which was a renowned courting ground during the 1890s. Charles E. Wood was appointed postmaster of Pirtle in 1884. The post office was discontinued in 1907, and mail was sent to Kilgore. From a population of 100 in the late 1890s, Pirtle declined when it was bypassed by both the railroads and the highways through Rusk County. Pirtle had eighty-two residents during the 1930s and forty residents during the 1940s. In 2000 the community included a church and a cemetery.


Kilgore News Herald, July 16, 1972. Dorman H. Winfrey, A History of Rusk County (Waco: Texian, 1961).

Megan Biesele

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

Megan Biesele, "PIRTLE, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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