Moscow is at the junction of U.S. Highway 59 and Farm Road 350, ninety miles north of Houston in central Polk County. The earliest recorded settlers there, David and Matilda Green, settled on the John Dickinson headright in the 1840s. Green established a post office, called Green's, in 1847. The name was changed to Moscow in 1853, after postal authorities rejected the proposed name of Greenville. Moscow incorporated in 1856 and became a trading center for Polk County farmers during the latter 1850s, with cotton gins, sawmills, and various businesses and shops. The Houston, East and West Texas Railway reached the site in 1880; the Moscow, Camden and San Augustine was constructed from Moscow to Camden in 1899. A streetcar line linked the railroad depot with the business district. A cannery and a column factory further diversified the Moscow economy. The weekly East Texas Pinery was published at Moscow in 1885. The town was also noted for its school, the Moscow Masonic High School. First called the Moscow Masonic Male and Female Academy, the institution had served the community under its latter name since 1857. Under the guidance of Professor Marcellus Winston, the Moscow school attracted a wide range of boarders after the Civil War. In 1880, with an estimated 228 residents, Moscow was the largest town in Polk County. By 1900 its population had reached 263. The decline of lumbering and agriculture in Polk County hurt Moscow, however, as did the improved transportation network of railroads and highways. The Masonic school burned down around 1935. The community had four businesses and an estimated population of 170 in 1984. In 2000 its population was still reported as 170.
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