Arp is on the Union Pacific Railroad and State Highway 135 eighteen miles southeast of Tyler in southeastern Smith County. Kickapoo Creek flows to the south. The area was occupied as early as 1868, when John G. and Eliza Sartain bought six acres from Henry Moore. In 1872 the International-Great Northern Railroad was built, and the community became Jarvis Switch, a stop on the line. Commercial development began in 1897 when truck and fruit farmer J. W. Melton moved there from Troup. He was the first local citizen to ship tomatoes to northern markets. The post office was established in 1898 as Strawberry with Charles P. Orr as postmaster. The following year the town was renamed after William Arp, a popular newspaper editor.

In 1902 the community had a six-month public school, five general stores, one drugstore, one doctor, and Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian congregations. The population consisted mostly of small farmers owning ten to 100 acres each, and Arp was a shipping point for fruit and vegetables. Local commercial nurseries specialized in the "Arp Beauty," a peach they had developed. School records for 1903–04 showed both a White and a black school. The Omen post office was transferred to Arp in 1906.

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Vista K. McCroskey | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Arp is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Arp is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Jarvis)
  • (Strawberry)


Latitude: 32.22790470
Longitude: -95.05361300

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2021 View more »