Mantua was five miles northwest of Anna in north central Collin County. Conceived and founded as a site for Mantua Seminary, the community was organized in 1854 when William C. McKinney, James W. Throckmorton, and Joseph Wilcox purchased 200 acres of land from the son of Collin McKinney, Younger Scott McKinney. The land was divided into town lots and offered for sale. The proceeds of the sale were to finance Mantua Seminary. In order to insure the proper environment for the school, the town prohibited gambling, horse racing, and the selling of liquor. Masonic Lodge No. 209, the sponsor of the school, was organized at Mantua on February 7, 1857. A year and a half later a post office was established. By 1860 the town had three stores, one church, and an estimated fifty residents. The population increased to 300 by 1870. In 1872 the Houston and Texas Central Railway laid tracks two miles east of the community. That year some citizens of Mantua purchased land near the railroad line and organized a new town, Van Alstyne, to take advantage of the railroad. Named for Mrs. Marie Van Alstyne, a Houston stockholder of the railroad, the Grayson County community became the new home for Mantua residents and businesses. By the middle of 1873 Mantua was deserted except for the churches, which moved in 1888. Mail service was discontinued on July 11, 1873.
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