Craft, formerly known as Independence, is on U.S. Highway 69 two miles south of Jacksonville in northern Cherokee County. The community was called Craft after a local post office was established in 1891 and named Craft for Thomas J. Craft, its first postmaster. The first railroad built through the area was Rusk Transportation, which in 1875 connected Rusk, southeast of Craft, with Jacksonville to the north. This line became the Kansas and Gulf Short Line in 1881 and was acquired by the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas in 1887 and subsequently by the St. Louis Southwestern of Texas in 1891. The first carload of tomatoes ever shipped from Texas rolled out of Craft on June 14, 1897. Tomatoes and the railroad brought prosperity to the community for several decades. The local population, estimated at ten in 1896, was fifty by 1925. In its prime Craft had the post office, a depot, a church, a three-teacher school, two general stores, and two tomato-packing sheds. In 1929, however, its post office was discontinued. Increasing urbanization and the decline of agriculture in the area reduced Craft's population, which was estimated at twenty-one from 1972 through 2000. In the mid-1980s the community consisted of a church, a store, and a scattering of houses. A Texas Historical Commission marker was erected at the old townsite on U.S. 69 in 1985.
At a Glance
Craft is part of or belongs to the following places.
Adopt a Town
The Texas Almanac's Land Rush program lets you adopt the town or county of your choice and share your message with the world. 100% of the proceeds benefit education in Texas.
Craft is classified as a Town
Has Post Office
Proud to call TX home?
Put your name on the town or county of your choice.
Search Places »
Craft by the Numbers
This is some placeholder text that we should either remove or replace with a brief summary about this particular metric. For example, "We update population counts once per year..."