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Wills Point History 1919

Wills Point History Written in 1919

Was laid out in the winter of 1873, by General Grenville M. Dodge, of Iowa, then construction engineer for the California Construction Company, and was named "Iola," by Major W. H. Abrams, land commissioner of the Texas and Pacific railroad. It wore this name for a time and the people hereabouts received their mail at Canton, which was supplied at that place by Bradfiels stage line from Marshall via Tyler, Canton, Prairieville and Kaufman to Dallas, three trips per week. But it dawned upon the "Iolans" that as the Texas and Pacific railroad trains then operated between Shreveport and Dallas, the fuel which was used to generate steam was wood and no time schedule was then observed by the hands operating on those trains, and Iola had several business houses in which the counters had top and bottom rails and the operating hands would nearly always stop the trains and look at those counters, that Uncle Sam might be induced to supply Iola with mail. To this end a petition was drawn up asking the postmaster general to appoint T. H. White, one of lola's citizens, postmaster. Uncle Sam agreed to this but wrote back that the name would have to be changed, as one postoffice in Texas already wore the sobriquet of Iola. Then the name of Wills Point was sent in and T. H. White was appointed postmaster and the office was opened, with Thomas McKain as assistant postmaster of Wills Point.

The city is located exactly on the summit between the Sabine and Trinity rivers, being 537 feet above sea level, and is the highest point of said road east of Fort Worth, in Texas. It has a mayor and city council and city marshal. It has a commodious brick schoolhouse, five church buildings, lodge halls for the Masonic order, the Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias. The city has a splendid water works and sewage system, ten miles of cement walks. Three strong banks are located here,one wholesale hay and grain dealer, one wholesale grocer, several department stores, together with hardware and furniture stores, grocery and dry goods stores and wagon and farm implement dealers. One 50-barrel-a-day flour mill, one cotton oil mill, two cotton gins, two corn mills. An express office and electric light plant and an undertaking establishment, also a newspaper. There is a splendid opening for a cotton compress, a modern hotel, an ice plant, a potato curing plant, a bacon curing plant, a fruit canning plant and a steam laundry. A Carnegie library and hot-house horticulture garden is much needed. - Some History of Van Zandt County, 1919


32° 42' 33.48" N, 96° 0' 29.88" W