Dresden is at the junction of Farm roads 744 and 55, fifteen miles west of Corsicana in west central Navarro County. Jacob Hartzell had a trading post as early as 1836 near the present townsite. He traded mainly with the Indians. Ethan Melton moved to the area in the 1840s and established a general store where many of the early settlers received their mail. The early site was known as Spanky, but when the regular post office was established in 1846, the name was registered as Melton. It was the first post office in the county. In 1852 the name was changed to Dresden. Postal service was discontinued in 1907. Near the store there was a campground where settlers stayed until their houses were built. The first county elections were held there on July 13, 1846. A three-acre townsite was set aside in March 1847 with Jacob Hartzell, Ethan Melton, and Henry Cook as trustees. County records show the post office name as Richland in 1849; the office was moved to Hartzell's store in the new settlement. In the 1850s a Methodist church was established. In 1872 a two-story building was constructed a mile northeast of town to house Dresden College. In 1896 the community had a population of 200, a high school, a bank, a general store, a cotton gin, and a gristmill. In 1906 the school had two teachers and fifty-nine students. The decision in the late nineteenth century to run the railroad track through Corsicana ended Dresden's prominence in the county. In 1939 the population of the town was estimated to be 127. From 1959 through 2000 it was an estimated twenty-five.

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Brian Bruckner | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Spanky is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Spanky is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Dresden)

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated