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TIMPSON, TEXAS

Shelby County, East Texas
US 59 and Hwys 87, 84
20 miles S of Carthage
15 miles NW of Center
29 miles NE of Nacogdoches

Population: 1,094 (2000) 1,029 (1990)

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Shady Grove Church, Timpson, Texas
Shady Grove Church four miles SE of Timpson
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, January 2006
History in a Pecan Shell

Founded with the arrival of the Houston, East and West Texas Railway in 1885, the town was named for P. B. Timpson, a railroad engineer.

Timpson opened its post office that year and by 1890 the town had 1,200 people with two sawmills, a canning factory and a weekly newspaper.
Timpson Texas WWI Marker
World War I marker in Timpson
TE Photo, July 2001
By 1925 Timpson had become a lignite shipping point. The town population swelled during the 1920s to an estimated population of 2,500, but the boom was short lived due to the onsetof the Great Depression. The town declined over the years, reaching 1,050 in 1968 - a figure that it has since become somewhat stable.
Fox Theater, Timpson Texas
The closed Fox Theater in Timpson
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, January 2006
First Methodist Church in Timpson Texas
The First Methodist Church in Timpson
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, January 2006
A ghost sign in Timpson, Texas
A ghost sign
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, January 2006
Timpson Texas street scene, old photo
1908 Timpson Street Scene
Courtesy texasoldphotos.com
Timpson Texas Downtown
Downtown Timpson today
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, January 2006
Timpson Texas Closed Mill
Timpson Closed Mill
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, January 2006
Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo, and Blair by Archie P. McDonald, PhD

Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo, and Blair are communities in Shelby County whose names were appropriated for a plea by crapshooters for good luck when seeking to roll double fives. Similarly, dice throwers hoping for an "eight" would sing out, "Eighter from Decatur, the County Seat of Wise." Later the alliteration in the sing-song phrase "Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo, and Blair" helped a folk song recorded by Tex Ritter popular.

How did the communities become involved with dice and popular music? ... more

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Timpson, Texas depot
Timpson Depot
Courtesy texasoldphotos.com

Timpson Texas Forum

Subject: The History of Timpson
I was wondering if [anyone] can help me. I understand there is a book, The History of Timpson. Does anyone know who published it or how I could go about getting a copy? There are pictures of my relatives in it and I own a very old handmade quilt sewn by Mrs. Cozart who is also featured in the book.

My mother was Helen Elizabeth Jennings who taught in the Timpson School system. It was a time when the school was so short of funds they were unable to pay their employees. I still have the chalk box she kept on her desk.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you very much.- Carolyn Carney, ccarney1@earthlink.net , Winnsboro, Texas, August 15, 2006

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