in a Pecan Shell
around 1835 and according to one legend, the town was named by none
other than Alamo defender
Davy Crockett. It was supposedly Crockett’s suggestion that the (then-nameless)
town be named for the American Revolution’s General Baron de Kalb.
DeKalb College was founded in 1839 and prospective residents were
screened by the landowners who donated the school land.
DeKalb was the first seat of Bowie County by 1841 although
growth was slow until it became a stop on the Texas and Pacific Railroad
in 1876. It wasn’t until 1890 that the town had a population of 500.
This figure doubled to over 1,000 by 1930.
It remained primarily an agricultural economy – bolstered by the Red
River Army Depot. The 1980 population of 2,200 declined slightly for
the 1990 census to 1,976 and by 2000 it was 1,769.
In Bowie County,
they say if you drive to a bridge outside DeKalb, you can hear the
cries of an infant. The story goes that a mother driving a car plunged
into the creek and the baby drowned in the near-freezing waters.
Around East Texas by Bob Bowman)
grave in the Woodsmen Cemetery,
near downtown DeKalb.
Photo courtesy of John DeBusk
DeKalb - The 1800th Texas Town featured in Texas Escapes.
First published February 28, 2008
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