Desdemona, on State Highway 16 in the southeastern corner of Eastland County, is one of the oldest extant Texas settlements west of the Brazos River. Sometime around 1857 a group of settlers built a family fort for protection from the Indians on land owned by C. C. Blair. In 1873 the oldest organization of any kind in Eastland County, the Rockdale Baptist Church, was built nearby. Two years later William and Ben Funderburg acquired the old Fort Blair land, and a town began to develop. By 1877 the town had a post office, and although it was officially named Desdemona for the daughter of the town justice of the peace, for many years it was known as Hogtown for its location on Hog Creek. Some early sources refer to it as Desdemonia or Desdimonia. The main sources of revenue in early Desdemona were trade and agriculture, primarily peanut farming. Economic discontent in the early twentieth century spurred the growth of socialism, but political competition never grew more violent than a yearly picnic and baseball game pitting Socialists against Democrats. By 1892 the town was reported to have a population of 100, and by 1904 it had grown to 340.
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