in a Pecan Shell
Named after Saltillo, Mexico (no reason known) by storekeeper John Arthur, the
town was settled before the Civil War.
In 1860 the community was granted
a post office. A rival store opened across from Arthur's store which gave the
town the unofficial name of "Twin
The population was 60 by the mid 1880s. (See 1882
map below.) The St. Louis Southwestern Railroad laid tracks 1.5 miles north
of Saltillo in 1887, the post office and one store moved to the new community,
creating an "Old Saltillo" which still appears on detailed Hopkins County
The population of (new) Saltillo was 350 by 1914 and all essential
businesses were established, including a newspaper.
Like most towns,
Saltillo prospered in the 20s and declined in the 30s. The 1933 population of
250 residents remained for the 1940 census. In 1964 the population had increased
to 270 but has decreased to 200 by 1990. The same figure is given for the 200
Old Saltillo remains in the form of a Methodist
church and cemetery.
Bob Bowman |
A recent caller from Bowie County had an intriguing question
recently, “Does East Texas have a town named Twin Groceries?”
is yes and no.
Around 1850, John Arthur helped settle the town of Saltillo
on the Old Jefferson wagon road sixteen miles east of Sulphur Springs in Hopkins
County. He named it a town in Mexico.
Saltillo soon became a popular
place for teamsters, leading to the establishment of a post office in 1860 with
Moses Russell as the postmaster.
The town also had a gristmill, a cotton
gin and a store.
A second store was opened on the opposite side of the
road from Arthur’s store and for the first time, the community was known as “Twin
Groceries” for obvious reasons.
But the name didn’t last long and Saltillo
reemerged. By 1885. Saltillo had a water-powered gristmill, two churches, a school
and a population of about sixty. But what about Saltillo’s name?... more
Texas map showing Saltillo |
(E. of Sulphur
Springs, Hopkins County, near Franklin County line)
Texas General Land Office
When I was
younger, I could never quite understand how anyone could be devoted to the town
where I was born. My birthplace was a farm house five miles south of Saltillo,
where our post office and school were located...The
Sounds of Home
In one of his essays Scott Russell Sanders writes that in centuries past
Japanese villagers were cautioned never to wander so far from their homes that
they could not hear the village drummer... Daddy's
I grew up on a farm during the 1940s. The farm was located
south of Saltillo in the region of loamy soil just south of the crescent of prairie
land that extends over the eastern part of Texas...The
Claims of the Wilderness
"As I stood on the site, I realized that the land that day may have
looked much the same when the Caddo Indians built their village..."
Caudles: A Family of Entertainers
A memory of chipped Kewpie dolls and other chalk figures comes to me when
I recall the Arthurs’ farm house...Saltillo's
First and Only Football Team
In its seventy-five years as an accredited
high school, Saltillo fielded a football team only one year. The year was 1945,
the year I enrolled there as a ninth-grader. The Japanese had just surrendered
unconditionally a week or so before our term began...Memorial
Day Services at Old Saltillo Church
Beginning in the early 1930s,
annual memorial services are held at the Old Saltillo Methodist Church in Hopkins
County. Until the early ‘60s the program was scheduled for the third Thursday
of July. By that time the cotton crops had been “laid by.” It was a time of waiting
through the Dog Days of summer until the cotton bolls began to open. Since 1960,
the services are held on the second Sunday in July... Selling
late 1940s cattle auctions were common in the towns of Northeast Texas. Each town
picked a different day of the week so as not to compete with nearby towns. Sulphur
Springs held its auction on Mondays, Mt.
Pleasant on Tuesdays, Paris on Wednesdays,
and Winnsboro on Fridays....The
Power We Longed For
the years just before and during World War II two unpaved roads led south from
Saltillo. Those of us who lived on the road that started from the east side of
town used kerosene lamps and wood-burning heaters and cook stoves. Those who lived
on the road that ran from the west side had the benefit of power supplied by an
Rural Electric Administration co-operative in Greenville... An
Unsolved Mystery from The World War II Years
While walking across our pasture near Saltillo one rainy afternoon in
1944, my father noticed a steel bar standing askew in the damp soil...
Popular Music of the 1940s
As a child on a farm near Saltillo in the 1940s, I depended on radio as the
only contact with the world beyond our community. We had no telephone. The only
newspaper we received was a local weekly. More
Robert Cowser's Columns
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