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HILLSBORO, TEXAS

"Antique Capital of I-35"

Hill County Seat, North Central Texas
Just off I-35
50 Miles S of Ft. Worth
55 Miles S of Dallas
33 Miles N of Waco

Population: 8,232 (2000) 7,072 (1990)

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Hillsboro Texas Katy Depot
The Katy Depot, home of the Hillsboro Area Chamber of Commerce.
Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
More Texas Depot | Texas Railroads

Hillsboro Topics of Interests

  • Hillsboro History
  • A Walk Around Hillsboro - Photographer Visits Hillsboro
  • Hillsboro Landmarks & Attractions
  • Hill County Courthouse by Sam Fenstermacher next page
  • Hill County Courthouse by Lou Ann Herda, Ed.D next page
  • The Cell Block Museum. Former Hill County Jail next page
  • Hillsboro Recreation
  • Hillsboro Chronicles
  • Hill County Towns and Ghost Towns next page
  • Hillsboro Hotels
  • CITY OF HILLSBORO

    Historical Marker Text:
    In 1853, the Texas Legislature carved Hill County out of Navarro County. Named for physician and Republic of Texas Secretary of War Dr. George Washington Hill, the new county had only recently attracted Anglo settlement, following the establishment in 1848 of Fort Graham. County commissioners selected Hillsboro, originally spelled Hillsborough, as county seat. They established the town on land donated by Thomas Steiner, John Caruthers and Jonathan Newby, and the community soon had a school and post office, as well as a wood-frame courthouse. Cotton became the mainstay of Hillsboro's late 19th-century economy.

    The city experienced rapid growth after the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad and other lines came to the town in the early 1880s. In addition to bringing new settlers and giving access to shipping and transportation, railroads provided many new jobs. The city continued to grow and incorporated in 1881. The cotton industry produced a building boom between 1890 and 1910, as evidenced by the numerous Queen Anne homes still intact today, as well as the noted 1890 Hill County Courthouse. In 1923, the community established the Hillsboro Junior College, which over the years has become Hill College.

    Many Texas political leaders have come from Hillsboro, including U.S. Congressman Joseph Abbott and Texas Lt. Governor Bob Bullock, as well as Thomas Slater Smith, Robert Lee Bobbitt, Robert W. Calvert, Crawford C. Martin, Nelson Phillips and Sam Johnson. In 1981, Hillsboro became one of the Texas Historical Commission's five original Texas Main Street Cities. The growing city continues to provide leadership, as well as natural, cultural and educational resources.
    (2004)

    HILLSBORO LANDMARKS / ATTRACTIONS
  • Hillsboro abounds with handsome buildings. The chamber in the beautifully restored MKT (Katy) Railroad Depot is reason enough to visit Hillsboro. Lots of railroad artifacts and photographs of Hillsboro as it was. Hillsboro was also an Interurban stop between Dallas and Waco.
  • The Cell Block Museum (former Hill County Jail), just a block away, is one of the more attractive jails anywhere in Texas. Featured in Texas Highway Magazine's article on jails, this one had Elvis as one of its short-term guests. (Elvis was stationed at Ft. Hood).
  • The Texas Heritage Museum: Devoted to Civil War Era documents and exhibits, especially Hood's Texas Brigade. 3000 volume library.
    On the Campus of Hill College. 254-2555 ext. 295
    Open Monday through Saturday 9 to 4 and Sunday 11 to 4.
    Pick up their brochure at the Chamber.
  • Hillsboro Junior College dates from 1923, but was closed in 1950. It was reopened in 1962 as Hill Junior College.
  • The 1913 Post Office is now the City Library. This was the first restoration project of Hillsboro in 1972.
  • Hillsboro Hotels > Book Hotel Here
  • A Walk Around Hillsboro, Texas

    Photos courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    Hillsboro Texas city library former post office
    The 1913 Post Office is now the City Library.
    This was the first restoration project of Hillsboro in 1972.

    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    More Texas Post Offices
    Hillsboro Texas city library former post office
    Hillsboro Texas city library former post office
    Hillsboro City Library architectural details
    Photos courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    More Texas Post Offices
    Hillsboro Texas brick street
    A brick street facing the Hill County courthouse
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    Hillsboro Texas bank building
    Hillsboro Texas bank building
    Photos courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    More Texas Banks
    Hillsboro Texas bank building gragoyle
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    More Texas Gargoyles
    Hillsboro Texas Pioneer Bank Building historical marker
    Pioneer Bank Building historical marker
    Photos courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    More Texas Banks
    Montgomery Ward Spirit of Progress in terra cotta, Hillsboro Texas
    "The building with 'The Spirit of Progress' on it was a Montgomery-Ward store. This image was M-W's logo and appears on many of their storefronts from the early 20th century. It's a good way to spot old M-W stores that have been converted to new uses." - Dwight Young.
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    Hillsboro Texas Kress building
    The Kress building in Hillsboro
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    Hillsboro Texas Kress building sign
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    See Kress Buildings
    Hillsboro Texas building with horse
    Hillsboro Texas Simmons
    Photos courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    More Texas Stores
    Hillsboro Texas T.B. Bond Pharmacy
    Texas's Oldest Pharmacy
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    More Texas Drug Stores
    Hillsboro Texas former theatre
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    More Texas Theatres
    Hillsboro Texas Gulf as station
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    More Texas Gas Stations
    Hillsboro Texas City Garage
    Hillsboro Texas 7up
    Photos courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    Hillsboro Texas ghost sign
    Hillsboro Texas Royal Blue Shoes ghost sign
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    More Texas Ghost Signs
    Hillsboro Texas AJ Thompson building
    Above photos courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
    Hill county courthouse at night, Hillsboro, Texas
    Hill County Courthouse
    Photo courtesy
    Barclay Gibson
    The 1890 Hill County Courthouse

    This is the one responsible for making Texans aware their "temples of justice" were threatened and needed attention.

    This wedding-cake masterpiece was designed by Wacoan Architect W. C. Dodson. The Cornerstone was laid without a horned toad in it in 1890. The stone came from another neighbor - Bosque County.

    The courthouse won the Downtown Association's award for "Best Restoration 1999". Burned "beyond recognition" in 1993, you can now visit it as it was meant to be seen.

    On the Square.

    See
  • Hill County Courthouse by Sam Fenstermacher
    County history, the courthouse, the courthouse square and other attractions.
  • Hill County Courthouse by Lou Ann Herda, Ed.D, July 2002

    Prior to 1854, the county seat was spelled Hillsborough.
    In 1890, Hillsboro's two newspapers were the Mirror and The Reflector.


    Hillsboro Hotels > Book Hotel Here
  • Hillsboro Recreation

    Lake Aquilla - I-35, FM310, 10 miles SW of Hillsboro.
    Lake Whitney - FM1244, FM 1713
    Lake Whitney State Park - Along the eastern shore of Lake Whitney, 16 miles west of Hillsboro.
    Box 1175 Whitney TX 76692, 254/694-3793
    Hillsboro Hotels
    Hillsboro Chronicles

    The Crash at Crush -
    The field that once was Crush, Texas is now occupied by cows, but a recently replaced historical marker south of West, Texas tells the story of one of the most bizarre publicity stunts of all time.

    The Great Airship Mystery by C. F. Eckhardt
    On April 15, Attorney J. Spence Bounds of Hillsboro was returning from Osceola, in the southwestern part of Hill County. At about 9 PM he stated he and his horse were frightened by “a brilliant flash from an electric searchlight which passed directly over my buggy.” He described the object to which the searchlight was attached as “in shape something like a cigar.” Beneath it he described ‘something similar to a ship,’ which was attached to the cigar-shaped object. He witnessed the thing disappear behind a hill near the town of Aquilla, a little southwest of Hillsboro. As he got within a mile or so of Hillsboro, he saw the object rise from behind the hill and take off in the direction of Dallas at a speed he estimated at 100 mph.... more
    Native Sons

    Willie Nelson
    has a room (not cell) of his own, qualifying by being raised in nearby Abbott. Other hometown boys made good are the late Bob Bullock and Dr. Red Duke. There's a lot of Audie Murphy memorabilia as well. Although Murphy was from Hunt County, Murphy's Biography was written by the founder of the Texas Heritage Museum. (Our thanks to the museum's sidewalk bricklayers for letting us visit the museum outside of regular "visiting hours".)
    Hillsboro Texas Former Hill County Jail
    The Cell Block Museum. Former Hill County Jail
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2003
    Hillsboro, Texas Forum

    Subject: Hamlin's Bluebird of Happiness 1942
    Dear Texas Escapes,

    I am seeking information about two young (young in 1942-43) Black men. They were known as Joe B. and Slim.

    Slim had two sisters Willy May and Lily May ? One was married to a man named James. They pulled cotton for my parents in 1942 or 1943 in Hamlin, Texas.

    Most of [their] family moved on, but Joe B. and Slim did not yet wish to leave --- so they lived in our front living room for two more months before they returned to Hillsboro. My family at that time consisted of my parents (Herbert and Dolores Nauert) and me (Clinton aged 4).

    After Joe B. and Slim went to town one Saturday on their return they gave me a tiny metal bluebird --- they had gotten from a box of Crackerjacks --- This was one of the only gifts I had ever been given --- other than at Christmas. I am now 68 years of age and I have never forgotten those fellows' kindness. Nor have I ever forgotten eating breakfast with them for those two months in 1942 or 1943. If I could contact them or one of their children I would just like them to know how a little kindness can mean so much to a child. My parents and I have very fond memories of those two really nice young men. Thank you, - Clinton Nauert, Greenwood, Arkansas, August 29, 2006

    Hillsboro Area Destinations:
    Hill County Towns
    Ft. Worth
    Dallas
    Waco

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