Walton is at the intersection of State Highway 19 and Farm Road 1861, thirteen miles south of Canton in extreme south central Van Zandt County. It is named for an early settler. The site was in Henderson County until 1848 and was settled as early as 1865. It had a post office from 1875 to 1905, a Grange by 1876, and three churches, general stores, a blacksmith shop, cotton gins, flour and grist mills, a race track, and saloon at its zenith. During the last years of the nineteenth century it was a stop for cattle drovers and oxcart freighters between Shreveport and Porter's Bluff. A Walton school was built by 1890 and had an enrollment of eighteen in 1905. The town reached a population of forty-nine in the 1930s, but the town center shifted when the highway from Athens to Canton bypassed it a mile to the east and induced the founding of a new settlement. For a time locals referred to the old and new townsites as Old and New Walton. By 1987 the two businesses and scattered dwellings that existed in 1936 at Old Walton had disappeared, but the town hall and the house built by Dr. Theo Blanchard in 1860 survived. New Walton had a school, a church, and numerous dwellings in 1936 and four businesses, two churches, and a cemetery in 1987. The population was estimated at thirty-five in 1974, and Walton received mail delivery from Athens in Henderson County. Through 2000 the population was still estimated at thirty-five.
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.
Diana J. Kleiner | © Texas State Historical Association
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