Red Oak is on Interstate Highway 35 twenty miles south of Dallas in northern Ellis County. In 1844 James E. Patton and his family settled on Red Oak Creek a few miles southeast of Billingsley Fort, at the site of present Ovilla. The first post office came to the area in 1847 from Mitchell's Branch, two miles from the site of future Red Oak. The settlement was originally called Possum Trot because of the abundance of possums in the area. It was renamed Red Oak after Ellis County was formed in 1849 for the creek. Before the Civil War the principal crop of the local farmers was wheat. In the 1860s an increase in cotton production occurred because more slaves came to the area from other southern states. Cotton was still produced in 1988, although farming was not central to the local economy.
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.
At a Glance
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Red Oak is classified as a Town
- (Navarro County Town)
- (Possum Trot)
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Red Oak by the Numbers
This is some placeholder text that we should either remove or replace with a brief summary about this particular metric. For example, "We update population counts once per year..."
|14,222||2020||United States Census Bureau|
|13,153||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|10,769||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|4,301||2000||United States Census Bureau|
|3,124||1990||United States Census Bureau|