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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Central Texas N : Peoria

PEORIA, TEXAS

Hill County, North Central Texas
Highway 22 and FM 1947
6 miles W of Hillsboro
Population: 00081 (2000)

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Peoria Texas former schoolhouse
Peoria Community Center, former Schoolhouse
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2008
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History in a Pecan Shell

As you may have imagined, the town was named after the town in Illinois. “Transient resident” B. F. Stewart, is credited with suggesting the name after his former hometown. Peoria was comprised of 21 cabins in the 1840s but the town had big plans. An entire square mile of streets was platted in 1853 and in 1887 the town was granted a post office. By 1878 Peoria had a population of 500 and hope were high. But when it was by-passed by the railroad in 1890, it immediately declined to around 350.

In the 1880s the town had daily stage service to Hillsboro and Whitney, but the population still dropped – reaching 129 by 1904.

The post office closed in 1907 and although there was some growth in the prosperous 20s, by the time the Great Depression arrived, Peoria was down to only four businesses. The Baptist and Presbyterian churches still remain active and the population of 81 has been in use since the early 1980s.

Peoria Baptist Church Texas
Peoria Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2007
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Peoria Cemetery, Texas
Peoria Cemetery
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2008
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Peoria Cemetery, Texas
Peoria Cemetery marker, Texas
Peoria Cemetery Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2008
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Peoria Texas closed gas station
A closed gas station
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2007
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Hill County Texas 1907 Postal map
1907 Hill County map showing Peoria (SW of Hillsboro)
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
Peoria, Texas
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