History in a Pecan
Head of Elm for it being near the headwaters of the Elm Fork of the Trinity
River, the community was visited by various Army expeditions, including Captain
Marcy (1848) and Col. Albert Sydney Johnston (1855).
The town was considered
briefly as the county seat, but lost out to Montague.
By the early 1870s, Head of Elm was thriving – partially due to it’s location
on the Chisholm Trail. In 1872 a group of investors purchased a section of land
that included the community. A plat was made and the town was renamed St. Jo after
investor Joseph A. Howell. The following year a post office was granted as St.
Jo, Texas and by the mid 1880s the community had a respectable population estimated
at 500, doubling that figure by 1890. Ten years later it had decreased to 825.
For the rest of the 20th Century and into the 21st, St. Jo’s population has hovered
around 1000 residents.
Jo's street scene with water tower|
TE photo, 2000