Stout is on Farm Road 312 six miles south of Winnsboro and ten miles northeast of Quitman in northeast Wood County. Both the community and a nearby creek were named after Capt. Henry Stout, who around 1848 was one of Wood County's earliest settlers. He was also owner of one of the county's oldest mills, a member of the commission that organized Wood County in 1850, and the first county sheriff. It is not known whether Stout actually lived at this community. The town, which grew up near his farmstead, was formed as early as 1877. Sometime after 1877 the community had a syrup mill and brick kiln, and in 1884 it received a post office. From 1890 to 1892 the population of Stout doubled from twenty-five to fifty, though by 1896 it had fallen to forty. The community had Methodist and Baptist churches and at least eleven businesses, including a wagonmaker, two apiarists, four physicians, and one each of flour, corn, and grist mills. By 1900 Stout had a school and a population reported at 212. By 1904 the post office had closed, and the population had dropped to 121, where it remained until the early 1940s. In the mid-1930s the community had a number of dwellings, two businesses, a church, and a school. In 1932 the Stout school district had 115 students in ten grades taught by four teachers. By 1943 the population had dropped to fifty, a level reported through the late 1960s, though maps for 1960 show only a few scattered dwellings remaining at the site. The population rose to seventy-six by 1968. From 1974 through 2000 it was reported as eighty-six. A local legend has it that a "nine-mule load of gold," stolen by a group of Americans from a Mexican army payroll, is buried near Stout. A historical marker and roadside park dedicated to Captain Stout are located three miles south of Stout on Farm Road 288, at the Stout family cemetery on the old Stout farmsite.
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.
Rachel Jenkins | © Texas State Historical Association
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