Cotton Gin

Cotton Gin, on Farm Road 1366 twelve miles west of Fairfield in western Freestone County, was established in 1848 near the site of a mule-powered cotton gin built by Dr. James S. Wills. Wills constructed the first store in the community and served as postmaster when the post office was established in 1851. The 1860 census reported that the town had 508 residents. By the 1870s it had a dozen stores, four churches, and a weekly newspaper, the Herald. Many residents moved to nearby Mexia when the Houston and Texas Central Railway bypassed Cotton Gin in 1872. The community's population continued to decline as cotton production and ginning decreased in the county. The town had a population of 206 in 1904, and its post office was discontinued four years later. Cotton Gin reported a population of seventy-five from 1945 to about 1960 and sixty by 1964. Its population had dropped to twenty-eight by 1968 and continued to be reported at that level through 2000.

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Timothy Palmer | © 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

Cotton Gin is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Cotton Gin is classified as a Town


Latitude: 31.68100140
Longitude: -96.36053220

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2009