Whitewright is on State highways 11 and 160 twelve miles southeast of Sherman in extreme eastern Grayson County. The settlement was established in 1878, when New York investor William Whitewright, for whom the community was named, purchased a tract of land in the path of the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad, which was then extending its tracks across the county. Whitewright had the land surveyed as a townsite and left two of his agents, Jim Reeves and Jim Batsell, to sell lots in the new community. Likely due to the combination of its rail connection and its location in the center of perhaps the richest farmland in the county, Whitewright soon attracted settlers and businesses. Within ten years of its founding the community had incorporated and supported a private school, Grayson College, a public school, a newspaper, and several businesses, including three hotels, two cotton gins, and two banks. In addition, a post office began operations there in 1888. By 1900 the population of Whitewright was 1,804. Although it declined slightly, to 1,563 in 1910 and 1,666 in 1920, the business community flourished. By the mid-1920s both the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas and the Cotton Belt served the town, and sixty-eight businesses, including two banks and manufacturers of cottonseed oil and flour, operated locally. Whitewright served as a marketing, retail, and commercial center for the farmers of the surrounding area who produced such crops as cotton, wheat, and corn. The population rose from 1,480 in 1936 to 1,537 by the late 1940s. The number of businesses, however, declined from sixty to forty-six. During the 1970s and 1980s seven factories, producing goods ranging from sausage to clothing to fertilizers, employed local workers. By 1989 Whitewright had twenty-six businesses, and in 1990 the population was 1,713. In 2000 the community had 1,740 inhabitants and 106 businesses.
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Whitewright by the Numbers
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|1,725||2020||United States Census Bureau|
|1,707||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|1,604||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|1,740||2000||United States Census Bureau|
|1,713||1990||United States Census Bureau|