Chico

Chico is at the intersection of State Highway 101 and Farm Road 1810, five miles north of Bridgeport in northwestern Wise County. Settlement of the area began in the mid-1870s, when J. T. Brown, from Chico, California, moved to the area and opened a general store near Dry Creek. The settlement became a church and school community for area farmers. A post office was established in 1882. A decade later the tracks of the Rock Island Railroad reached the community. Soon thereafter Chico became a retail center for cotton farmers. The town remained economically dependent on agriculture until the early 1940s, when oil was discovered nearby. The population reached 1,000 in 1942. Although Chico billed itself as the oil capital of Wise County, it also was one of the leading producers of crushed stone for road construction. At one time the town had four large stone processing plants. Agriculture remained important; in the 1950s peanuts and cantaloupes replaced cotton as the primary crop. Chico was incorporated in 1950, but the population declined to 850 by the middle of the 1950s. In 1986 Chico had an estimated 890 residents, twenty-five businesses, and a weekly newspaper, the Chico Times. In 1990 the population was 800 and in 2000 it was 947.

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

Belongs to

Chico is part of or belongs to the following places.

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Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

Chico is classified as a Town

Locations

  • Latitude
    33.29471510
    Longitude
    -97.79923200

Has Post Office

Yes

Is Incorporated

Yes

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Chico by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Chico
Pop. Year Source
1,170 2019 Texas Demographic Center
1,002 2010 Texas Demographic Center
947 2000 Texas Demographic Center
800 1990 Texas Demographic Center