Winnsboro (Winnsborough), an incorporated city, is at the junction of State highways 11 and 37, fifteen miles northeast of Quitman in northeastern Wood County and extends into Franklin County. The town, first settled in the early 1850s, was named for John E. Wynn, an Englishman who settled in the area. Originally the settlement's name was spelled Wynnsborough, but when a post office was established in 1855, it was changed to Winnsborough. By 1861 the community had, in addition to the post office, two general stores and a church. After the Civil War it grew rapidly; in 1876 the East Line and Red River Railroad built a narrow-gauge road west from Jefferson, and Winnsborough developed into an important local shipping center. By 1885, Winnsborough, now incorporated, had Baptist, Methodist, and Cumberland Presbyterian churches, schools, eight steam grist and cotton gins, an opera house, a weekly newspaper, the Sentinel, and some 700 inhabitants. In 1893 the town's name was shortened to Winnsboro, evidently at the request of city leaders. In 1904 the Texas Southern Railroad built through the town, and by 1914 the flourishing community had four banks, two potteries, a public library, a cottonseed mill, two weekly newspapers, the Wide Awake and the Wortham Messenger, and a population of 2,300. The onset of the Great Depression and plummeting cotton prices in the early 1930s combined to bring hard times for Winnsboro. The population dropped to 1,900 in 1936, and many businesses were forced to shut their doors. After World War II, however, the town began to grow again. A new hospital, a high school, and a 917-acre lake were completed. Autumn Trails, a fall nature show, featured theater productions, arts and crafts, music conventions, and other events. In 1970 the city reported 155 businesses, eight churches, a hospital, a library, and a newspaper. Since the mid-1960s the population has been steadily growing, and in 2000 Winnsboro had 3,584 residents and 354 businesses.

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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Place type

Winnsboro is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [Wynnsborough]


  • Latitude

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Winnsboro by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
3,455 2020 United States Census Bureau
3,401 2019 Texas Demographic Center
3,252 2010 United States Census Bureau
3,584 2000 United States Census Bureau
2,904 1990 United States Census Bureau
3,458 1980 United States Census Bureau
3,064 1970 United States Census Bureau
2,675 1960 United States Census Bureau
2,512 1950 United States Census Bureau
2,092 1940 United States Census Bureau
1,905 1930 United States Census Bureau
2,184 1920 United States Census Bureau
1,741 1910 United States Census Bureau
899 1900 United States Census Bureau
388 1890 United States Census Bureau