Texarkana is at the junction of Interstate 30 and U.S. highways 59, 67, 71, and 82 in extreme northeastern Texas on the Texas-Arkansas border. It was named for its location on the state line between Bowie County, Texas, and Miller County, Arkansas, only a short distance above the Louisiana boundary. The three parts of its name honor the three states. There is some debate about the actual origins of the name, which was in use some time before the town's founding. According to one tradition, the name was derived from a steamboat known as the Texarkana, which plied the water of the Red River as early as 1860. Others claim that a man named Swindle, who ran a general store in Red Land, Bossier Parish, Louisiana, manufactured a drink called "Texarkana Bitters." Yet another story claims that when the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad was building its line through the area, Col. Gus Knobel, who made the survey, coined the name and erected a large sign at the site. The strategic position of Texarkana is the keynote to its history and development. The Great Southwest Trail, for hundreds of years the main line of travel from Indian villages of the Mississippi River country to those of the South and West, passed by a Caddo Indian village on the site that later became Texarkana. Seventy Indian mounds, reminders of Caddo occupation and culture, are within a radius of thirty miles of Texarkana. Texarkana has remained a gateway to the Southwest. When the builders of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad crossed Arkansas in the late 1850s and by 1874 pushed their rails beyond the Red River to the border line of Texas, they met there the rail head that had been extended to the state line by the builders of the Texas and Pacific. The road from the south bank of Red River was completed on January 15, 1874, to the state line, where the city of Texarkana had been established on December 8, 1873, at the site where the two roads would join. The Texas and Pacific Railway Company laid out the Texas side of the town. The plat included land from the railroad yards to Seventh Street, and west from the state line to Deutschmann's Canal. The first business, a combination drug and grocery store operated by George M. Clark, opened on December 8, 1873. In 1876 Texarkana, Texas, was granted a charter under an act of the state legislature.

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.

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Texarkana is classified as a Town


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Texarkana by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
36,193 2020 United States Census Bureau
68,788 2019 United States Census Bureau
66,035 2010 United States Census Bureau
61,230 2000 United States Census Bureau