Vashti is at the intersection of Farm roads 174 and 1288, eighteen miles southeast of Henrietta in southeastern Clay County. It was established between 1880 and 1891 by Dave Taylor, who established a post office in 1891 named after his favorite niece Vashti Strahan. By 1904 the community school registered sixty-nine students and employed two teachers. During the 1920s the population of Vashti reached 264, and the community had a number of businesses, including a cotton gin, three general merchandise stores, a drugstore, and a blacksmith shop; in addition, six churches and two fraternal orders operated locally. In the 1930s and 1940s Vashti remained relatively stable, but during the 1950s it entered a period of decline as farming became less profitable and improved roads encouraged greater mobility. The post office closed sometime after 1930. By the mid-1950s the population of Vashti stood at 140, a number that the community continued to report into the late 1980s. Vashti had five rated businesses in 1956–57 but none by the late 1980s. Cattle raising, dairy farming, potterymaking, and fruit production are the area's major industries. In the 1980s the Vashti community center was the hub of area social life. By 2000 the population fell to eighty, and local officials estimated a population of seventy in 2009.
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Vashti by the Numbers
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