Long Branch, on Farm Road 348 fourteen miles southwest of Carthage in southwestern Panola County, was first settled before the Civil War and was named for a long sandy arm of the Murvaul Bayou. A post office was established there in 1858, and a Baptist church was organized in 1874. A. P. Wherry built a gristmill before 1880. By 1885 Long Branch had a church, a district school, five cotton gins, two sawmills, a general store, and an estimated population of 100. Around 1900 the Ragley lumbering interests constructed a narrow-gauge logging railroad between Timpson and Henderson that ran through Long Branch. By 1914 the settlement had Baptist and Methodist churches, a bank, a weekly newspaper named the Hustler, and a population of 400. The town began to decline in the early 1920s, when the timber resources in the area were depleted. The Timpson and Henderson Railway, which had taken over the narrow-gauge line in 1909, abandoned it in 1923. By 1925 the population of Long Branch had fallen to 175, and the post office closed the next year. In the mid-1930s Long Branch still had a church, a school, a cemetery, and eight businesses; its population was reported as 174 in 1936. After World War II its school was consolidated with that of Carthage, and most of its stores closed. In 1990 Long Branch was a dispersed rural community, with a church, a store, a community center, and a reported population of 181. The population remained the same in 2000.
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.
Christopher Long | © Texas State Historical Association
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