in a Pecan Shell
Naples came into being with the arrival of the Texas and St. Louis Railroad
in 1880. The small town of Wheatville had been bypassed by the railroad
and moved the three miles south, providing the new town with its first residents.
it wasn’t called Naples at first. It was called Belden. In 1882, the Wheatville
post office was one of the businesses moved to the tracks, but because of feared
confusion with Belton, Texas, the
postal authorities named it Station Belden.
By the mid 1880s, Station
Belden had a population of 350 with most essential businesses. In 1890, the population
had increased to 750 and the town acquired a newspaper.
The name Naples
was chosen from a list submitted by residents in 1895. The following year the
population had reached 1,200. Naples incorporated in 1919.
The Great Depression hit Naples hard and in 1933 the population had fallen to
843. For the 1950 census, Naples increased to 1,346.
In the mid 1960s,
nearly half of the population worked at Lone Star, Daingerfield,
or the Red River Army Depot in neighboring Bowie County. The 1980 population of
1,908 had decreased to just 1,410 by the year 2,000.
See Historical Markers
Naples Water Melon F estival|
Photo courtesy Gerald
Massey, July 2010
Marker - 3rd Street and Pine Ave. |
recorded burial on this site was that of Elizabeth A. Baker, who died on April
26, 1883. Pattie D. Baker, who died in October of that year, is one of several
people reported to have been reinterred here from the local school grounds. In
1892, J. H. Mathews sold about an acre including this site to trustees of the
Belden Public School for $12.50 for use as a cemetery. In 1895 when the town of
Belden was renamed Naples, the Belden Cemetery was renamed accordingly.
Among those interred here are a Texas state representative, as well as Amanda
Sheppard, the mother and grandmother of two U. S. congressmen. Members of the
Watts family were reinterred here from the Wheatville graveyard northeast of Naples.
Now encompassing two acres, Naples Cemetery is a chronicle of Morris County.
Marker on US 67 and Walnut St.|
railroad by-passed prosperous town of Wheatville (3 mi. N), this rival town emerged
at railroad. Post office moved here Jan. 1882, and was called Station Belden.
Name was changed to Naples by U. S. Post Office Department, Feb. 1895. With depletion
of hardwood forests, economy returned to cattle and agriculture.
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos of their town, please contact