Datura, on Farm Road 1951 three miles south of Coolidge in northern Limestone County, appears to have formed in the late 1890s. A post office operated there from May 18, 1899, until sometime after 1930; Arthur Clinton Bayless was the first postmaster. Bayless reportedly named Datura after a town from a novel. Another possibility is a species of poisonous flowering plant, Datura Stramonium, also known as Devil’s Snare or Jimson Weed, which grows in the region and has white, yellow, and lavender blossoms. Datura became a shipping point for the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway around 1900, and in 1902 the community had one store, operated by C. V. Reed. The first exploratory oil and gas well in the region was drilled to a depth of 1,000 feet in 1904. The Corsicana-Mexia oil pool led to the erection of ten more oil wells within five miles of Datura, including one to a depth of 2,825 feet by the Datura Oil Syndicate in 1922. By 1914 the town reported a population of 100 and seven businesses. On August 15, 1921, a mob in Datura hanged Alex Winn, who was accused of assaulting a seven-year-old girl. A second mob removed the body from the undertaker in nearby Coolidge and burned it upon a pyre. Its railroad line later became a part of the Burlington-Rock Island Railroad but was discontinued about 1935. In the mid-1940s Datura had a population of 100 and one business, and the 1948 county highway map showed two churches serving widely scattered rural residences in the area. In 1968 the Datura school was incorporated into the Mexia Independent School District, and by 1978 the community consisted of scattered dwellings and one business. Datura still existed in 1990. In 2015 the population was two.

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.

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Datura by the Numbers

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Pop. Year Source
2 2009 Local Officials