Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl

SPRINGFIELD, TEXAS (Limestone County). Springfield, the first county seat of Limestone County, was in the north central part of the county at a site now included in Fort Parker State Park. It became a townsite in January 1838, when Moses Herin donated land for that purpose. By the spring of that year twelve families had settled in the area. The community was named either for the springs in the area or for Springfield, Illinois. When Limestone County was established in 1847, Springfield became the county seat, and a post office was established. The community had 120 residents when it was incorporated by the legislature the following year. By the 1850s Springfield had five general stores, two hotels, two schools, a newspaper, and a Masonic hall. In the early 1870s the Houston and Texas Central Railroad began negotiating to buy rights of way through Springfield. When residents held out for more money than the railroad company was willing to pay, the company decided to bypass Springfield altogether. As a result, the settlement lost much of its business to towns like Groesbeck and Mexia that were on the railroad. After the courthouse at Springfield burned in 1873, Limestone County residents decided to make Groesbeck the county seat. With no railroad, no new businesses, and none of the prestige associated with being the county seat, Springfield faded, as its population was drawn to more vital communities. The post office was discontinued in 1878, and mail for the remaining residents was sent to Groesbeck. When the former townsite became part of Fort Parker State Park in the mid-1930s, only the cemetery remained. The town of Springfield was honored with a Texas Historical Marker in 1966, and the cemetery received a marker in 1969.

Historical marker files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin. Jeff Towers, "Springfield: Buried with the Past," Texas Parks and Wildlife, February 1986. Ray A. Walter, A History of Limestone County (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1959).

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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, Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, "SPRINGFIELD, TX (LIMESTONE COUNTY)," accessed January 21, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvsaz.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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