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Navarro County TX
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Navarro County, North Central Texas

FM 635
20 Miles SE of Corsicana the county seat
W of Athens
Population: 30 (2000)

Rural Shade, Texas Area Hotels › Corsicana Hotels

History in a Pecan Shell

Hugh and Washington Ingram are credited with being the community’s first settlers. They arrived around 1850 and eight years later a post office opened. The community got a grist mill (steam powered) around 1870 and by the mid 1880s there were two more as well as a sawmill and three general stores.

The population was just 75 around this time, growing to perhaps a peak population of less than 200 by 1906.

No records are available for the period covering the Great Depression through WWII, but these factors as well as school consolidation (with schools in Kerens) took their toll.

Businesses closed as well as the post office and only a church and cemetery were left (with scattered housing). By the 1990s, despite its welcoming name, Rural Shade was given the most dreaded classification of “a dispersed rural community.” The 2000 census managed to count 30 area residents.

Rural Shade TX Navarro County  post office info
Rural Shade TX Navarro County 1897 postmark
Cover canceled with Rural Shade, TX 1897 postmark
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection

Rural Shade, Texas Forum

Ingram Cemetery at Rural Shade

"Today I was looking over the records of the old Ingram cemetery and realized that I can add to the history.

In 1886 my great grandfather, James Rodgers Loughridge was buried there. At present there is a civil war tombstone in his name. This may be confirmed by going to the web site James Rodgers Loughridge. At that site there is a picture of him and a picture of the tombstone.

A little history. He is buried there because the Trinity was flooded at the time of his death and they could not take him to Corsicana. In Corsicana there is a tombstone stating that he is buried at Rural Shade. (There is also an infant grandson buried next to him.)

At the end of the Wildcat Ferry Road was the location of my great grandfather's cotton warehouse. The warehouse was the last location up the river the steamboats came. My grandfather, Samuel L. Loughridge son of J.R.L., told me many stories about being a boy there. The steamboats Black Cloud and the Early Bird came there. They were able to carry 1800 bales of cotton back to Galveston, Texas. He stated that two days before the boats arrived you could hear their whistles blow as it echoed down the river. When the boats arrived at the bluff, the site was called Loughridge's Bluff, a full head of steam was built up and when sounded could be heard to Dallas. That was a sign to all of the farmers that they had two weeks to get their cotton to the warehouse. He described the boats as being "very grand".

Another story was about some of the social life. It seems that when there was a trial in Corsicana it became a source of interest and entertainment. All the men would go to town for the trial and the women would gather at one of the homes to can food and quilt. It was quite a treat also for the children to get together and play.

On one occasion he noted all of the women and children were at the river picking berries. The dogs were also with them. The dogs started whimpering and gathering close to the women. Then someone pointed out a panther jumping up and looking around. The next time they saw it jump, it was closer. At last it jumped out of the tall grass and was met by the pack of dogs. The women and children ran back to the house. He said the fight went on for two days. During that time some of the dogs returned with injuries. When the men came back they went to the river. There they found one of the limbs of the panther and several dead dogs but the panther was no where in sight.

One of my older cousins told me of the last time he went to the bluff. He stated that it was no longer there as it had been mined for gravel.

A note: James Rodgers Loughridge helped form Company I of Hoods first Texas. HE was a county judge appointed by Sam Houston and editor of the Corsicana Prairie Blade newspaper and an attorney. His civil war letters exchanged between he and his wife are housed at the Pearce Museum at Navarro College in Corsicana." - David L. Loughridge, Great Grandson of James Rodgers Loughridge, April 04, 2014

TX Navarro County 1920s Map
Navarro County 1920s Map showing Rural Shade
(E of Corsicana near Henderson County line)

Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Take a road trip

North Central Texas

Rural Shade, Texas Nearby Towns:
Corsicana the county seat
Navarro County | Henderson County | Freestone County

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