Roxton is at the junction of Farm roads 137 and 38, eighteen miles southwest of Paris in southwestern Lamar County. The original settlement, named Fort Shelton, was established in 1837 by Eli Shelton on Cane Creek, three miles southwest of the current location. The community was known as Prairie Mount by 1853, when the first post office was established with James H. Stevenson as postmaster. Prairie Mount was located 2½ miles northwest of the Fort Shelton site. The post office was renamed Roxton in 1869. The new name is believed to be a simplification of Rockstown or Rockston; it refers either to a prominent white limestone outcropping located nearby or to a distinctive rock gate and posts built by William Klyce at his home and store midway between Fort Shelton and the present townsite. In 1887 the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway was extended one-half mile west of the original location of Roxton in order to connect with the Paris and Great Northern Railroad in Paris. Most of the town moved to the railroad soon afterward, and the original townsite became known as Old Roxton. Roxton had a population of 226 in 1890 and increased to 1,200 by 1914. In that year the town had thirty businesses, including two banks, three gins, and a telephone company. The population subsequently remained between 700 and 900 for several decades. Roxton serves as the marketing center of the surrounding agricultural area. Cotton was the original crop, but grain and cattle have since become the major products. The town was incorporated by 1974, and in 1980 it had twelve businesses, including one bank. The post office, the second oldest in the county, was still in operation. In 1990 the population was 639. The population reached 694 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.
Michael M. Ludeman | © Texas State Historical Association
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