Alton, established by the state legislature on February 24, 1848, to replace Pinckneyville as county seat of Denton County, was less than a mile from the site of present-day Corinth in the east central part of the county. For three years the residence of W. C. Baines, the only person living in Alton, served as the legal center of the county. On November 26, 1850, because of a lack of water at the original site, the state legislature chose a new site for the county seat, five miles south of the site of present-day Denton near Hickory Creek. This new site kept the name Alton. By 1855 at least two stores, a hotel, and a post office had been constructed there. In 1856, however, residents of the county demanded a new county seat. They argued that Alton was not in the center of the county, that the water from the standing pools in Hickory Creek had made a number of families ill, and that the development of the town had been unsatisfactory. As a result of these complaints, in an election held in November 1856, Denton County voters accepted an offer from Hiram Cisco, William Loving, and William Woodruff to provide 100 acres of their property for a new county seat. This new site, near the center of the county, was named Denton. Soon after the establishment of the new county seat Alton disappeared.
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