From Wolf Path to Whitesboro
Whitesboro is a rural town in far west-central Grayson County, Texas, and is located about fifteen miles west of Sherman on State Highway 56, US Highways 377 and 82, and State Highway Loop 441.
Robert Diamond was the first immigrant to settle in the area and at that time the area was known as Wolf Path. The arrival of Ambrose B. White and his family in 1848 led to the establishment of a more formal settlement. When additional settlers arrived, they chose to make their dwellings close to one another. Between 1858 and 1861 the Butterfield Overland Mail Route line ran from St. Louis to San Francisco and regularly stopped in the area to rest. Ambrose built a hotel called the Westview Inn that quickly became an established regular stop along the Butterfield Overland Mail Route. By 1860 the community was officially named Whitesborough in honor of Ambrose White and a post office was established to serve the area including the 14 families that had established homes near each other.
After the Civil War, the area began to grow and prosper with the numerous new settlers and homes being built. In 1873, the town received its first official charter and Ambrose served as its first mayor until his death. At that time the community had about 500 residents, several saloons, and numerous other businesses. In 1878 the Presbyterian Church was opened and in 1879 a Methodist and Baptist church opened. In that same year the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad established a train depot that connected Whitesborough to Denison and in 1880 Mrs. McPhearson and her two brothers, Luke and Chester, started printing the first community newspaper named the Whitesborough Democrat.
In 1887 the community was reincorporated at which time the name was officially changed to Whitesboro. By 1900 the town had a population of over 1,200 people and over the next 20 years the community continued to grow and by 1920 the community had over 1,800 residents and had become the regional commercial center that had two train lines that served the areas cotton, corn, wheat, oat farmers, seventy-five enterprises, and three banks. The Whitesboro Fire Department was established in 1915 to service Whitesboro’s booming rural population. The town was also home to several manufacturers of cottonseed oil and bedding.
Like many North Texas towns, the Great Depression and World War II hit Whitesboro hard with a dramatic drop in population and businesses. Whitesboro recovered quickly and by 1950 the population had again risen to above 1,800 people and there were reportedly over 80 operating businesses. Over the next 20 years the community continued to grow and prosper and by 1970 Whitesboro was home to over 2,900 people and 100 businesses. Whitesboro became a manufacturing hub and during the 1970 and beyond it was producing clothing, machine tools, and petroleum items.
During the next 30 years, the city continued to grow at a slow but steady pace and by 1990 the population had risen to over 3,200 people and there were fifty-eight rated enterprises. By the year 2000, the city was home to over 3,700 people.
Today, Whitesboro is an established city that covers 3.34 square miles and has a public library system, a municipal court, a police department, and emergency services for the 4,200 people who call the city home.
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