Italy bears no cultural ties to the "Old Country"and if there are
citizens of Italian heritage - it's merely coincidental. The name
was contributed by the postmaster of 1880 who imagined the climate
of Texas comparable to that of Italy.
History in a Pecan shell
A timeline of significant events in Italy, Texas:
1860: Scattered settlement begins
1879: the brothers Aycock built the first house and use it
as a combination of house, store and post office. The town was split
over what the name should be - some wanting Egypt and others Italy.
Gabriel J. Penn, the Waxahachie postmaster settled the matter for
them by filling in the blank on the application with the name Italy.
The postal authorities gladly accepted Italy (there was already an
in Wharton County).
1890: The population reaches 500 Italians (not really Italians,
but what else are you going to call them?)
1891: A big year for Italy. The Missouri, Kansas and Texas
Railroad arrived (actually in December 1890), the first newspaper
was published, and the town was officially incorporated.
1900: population is 1,061
1901: The International-Great Northern Railroad reaches Italy
1913: The Electric Interurban between Waco
and Dallas comes through
Italy (Electricity for the city was provided by Waco)
1920s: Italy had five gins, a compress, and a cottonseed oil
1925: The population reaches 1,500 and the Italy Independent
School District was established.
1930: Italy starts the Great Depression with a population of
1,230 people and 45 businesses.
1960: Italy's population remains nearly the same with only
1,183 people and half the businesses.
Italy is the home of the S. M. Dunlap Memorial Library.
Because of its slow growth from the 30s, Italy is a town that should
be visited on an Ellis
County trip. It remains very representative of a North
Texas cotton town of the 1930s.
Corley Bell Tower plaque
|Italy Fire Department
| Italy High School
postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
Home in It-lee, Texas, USA by Jeanne Moseley
"... His career in radio broadcasting took him to Dallas, Louisville,
Providence, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and then back to Los Angeles,
where he became well known as a premier broadcaster. As a young boy
on Italy's Ward Street, his favorite pastime was listening to Gene
Autry's radio show ..."
I was born in Milford
Texas and was familiar with Italy. I used to go to the movie in
Italy on the interurban (because we had no movie). My brother (Dick
Murray) ran a radio repair shop in earl shives drug store. if anyone
remembers me - please write. - Flora Murray (Henderson), Milford,
Ellis, Texas. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history
and vintage/historic photos, please contact