Golden is at the intersection of Farm roads 1799 and 779, just off U.S. Highway 69 four miles northwest of Mineola in southwest Wood County. Though the area was settled as early as 1865, the community did not begin to form until the late 1870s, when C. W. Tucker built a sawmill there. When the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad built through in 1881 on its way from Greenville to Mineola, Golden was named for railway construction engineer John Golden. The local farm economy was augmented for a time by the railroad tie-cutting industry. A school called Friendship was established sometime around 1880, and though it may at one time have been part of a separate community by that name, the school also enrolled children from Golden. By 1885 Golden had received a post office, and five years later the community had a population of 100, a school, three churches, and a number of businesses, including a shingle mill, a cotton gin, two sawmills, and a vineyard and nursery. By 1896 the population was 300. Around 1907 a bank opened in Golden, and by 1914 the community had population high of 650, a telephone connection, and a newspaper named the Golden Rule. By 1925 the population had fallen to 400, and by 1931 the bank had closed. The following year the Golden school district reported an enrollment of 232 students in eleven grades. The population fell to 250 by 1943 and 200 by 1949, when the rural economy included a strong watermelon and truck-farming trade. In 1956 the railroad abandoned its line through Golden. The population was 156 from the late 1960s until 2000. In 1988 Golden had a school, four businesses, and three churches, and in 2000 the community had twenty-one businesses.
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.
Rachel Jenkins | © Texas State Historical Association
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