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DEAN, TEXAS (Smith County). Dean, also known as Deanville, was five miles west of Tyler in central Smith County. The site was originally part of the E. D. Holland survey and was settled after the Civil War when Maj. John J. Dean, a Confederate veteran, returned to claim the land he had purchased in 1863. He built a large two-story house on the creek. In the 1870s the Cotton Belt Railroad built a line through the area, and in 1872 Major Dean used personal funds to construct a Baptist church. The cemetery was established soon after. In March 1874 the Deanville post office opened with Daniel L. Dean as postmaster. The facility closed after only nine months, and Dean never became an important railroad stop. Eight homes were in the vicinity in 1936, and the church and cemetery were still in use. By 1938 local students attended school in the Dixie Independent School District. In 1966 the community comprised the church and cemetery and a few homes. In 1969 children attended school in Tyler. In 1973 highway maps showed the church, the cemetery, and a scattered collection of dwellings on an unnamed paved road and two dirt roads. Dean no longer appeared on maps in 1981.


Edward Clayton Curry, An Administrative Survey of the Schools of Smith County, Texas (M.Ed. thesis, University of Texas, 1938). "Major John Dean House (Dean)," Chronicles of Smith County, Spring 1967. "Post Offices and Postmasters of Smith County, Texas: 1847–1929," Chronicles of Smith County, Spring 1966. Smith County Historical Society, Historical Atlas of Smith County (Tyler, Texas: Tyler Print Shop, 1965). Donald W. Whisenhunt, comp., Chronological History of Smith County (Tyler, Texas: Smith County Historical Society, 1983). Albert Woldert, A History of Tyler and Smith County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1948).

Vista K. McCroskey


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

Vista K. McCroskey, "DEAN, TX (SMITH COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 31, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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