Francitas is on Farm Road 616 and the Missouri Pacific line in southeastern Jackson County. A small colony of French families settled in the area during the late 1890s, and soon thereafter railroad employees named the community Francitas. In 1909 representatives of the Valley Fruit Farm and Garden Company promoted the community by a public sale of town lots. In 1910 acreage purchased from Lafayette Ward, a local rancher, was surveyed into additional town lots and opened for settlement. The next year officials granted a post office to the community, and C. O. Hardy served as the first postmaster. By 1914 the community was a stop on the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway. It had hardware and furniture stores, a bank, a weekly newspaper, and a telephone connection. The reported population of the community peaked at 300 in 1940, when the town also had three businesses. Its population fell to around 100 in the 1950s, grew to 200 by 1962, and then declined by 1988 to thirty, where it remained in 1990. In 2000 the population was 143 with one business.
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Francitas by the Numbers
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