Commemorating the first train into Fannin County
By Malinda Allison
Oct 17, 2023
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Fannin County, Texas -- This month is the 150th anniversary of the first train into Fannin County. After the Civil War a number of corporations began the process of establishing railroads in Texas. A line was proposed that would begin at Marshall to Texarkana, and then from Texarkana to the west and from Sherman to the east.

Track laying from Sherman reached Savoy by the middle of August 1873.  The Transcontinental track from Savoy to Bonham was then completed and the first train arrived in Bonham on October 12, 1873. By November 1 the rails reached the county line beyond Honey Grove.
The railroad changed everything for Fannin County. For the first time farmers could transport their crops and livestock to market by train. Visitors and new residents could arrive by train instead of stagecoach. Merchants could have their goods delivered by train instead of on wagons from Jefferson.

Travel in the county from towns on the railroad line was no longer on roads that were frequently muddy. Dodd City became a town because a depot was needed there, and citizens from surrounding communities moved to Dodd City because of the railroad.

The population of Fannin County grew from 13,207 in 1870 to 25,501 in 1880, almost doubling. The population of Bonham also doubled during those 10 years from 928 in 1870 to 1,889 in 1890. By 1900 the population of Fannin County was 51,793.

The Fannin County Museum of History and the Fannin County Historical Commission are partnering with the Bonham Fire Department to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first train into Bonham and the 130th anniversary of Bonham Fire Department in an event at the Museum on Saturday, October 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Lots of fun is planned. Please join us for this celebration.