The small, incorporated community of Texola is situated on Interstate Highway 40, one mile east of the Oklahoma-Texas border. Located in western Beckham County, it is twenty-one miles south and west of Sayre, the county seat. Before being named Texola, the townsite had been called Texokla and Texoma. Reuben H. Grimes served as the first postmaster when a post office was established on December 12, 1901. Originally, Texola was located in northern Greer County before Beckham County was created at 1907 statehood. Texola developed along the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad line (later owned by the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway) built through the town in 1902.
By 1909 the local agricultural area supported Texola's two cotton gins and its corn and grist mill. The economy sustained a bank, several general stores, a hardware store, a meat market, a blacksmith shop, and a livery. The weekly Texola Herald was established in 1902 and continued to be published circa 1921. Residents had organized Baptist, Christian, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches. Travelers received accommodations at three hotels and two restaurants. By the 1930s cotton production had increased, necessitating two additional cotton gins. Town amenities included a ten-acre park and an auditorium seating three hundred.
Texola's population peaked at 581 in 1930. In 1910 and 1920 the census reported 361 and 298 citizens, respectively. After 1930 the population declined every decade from 337 in 1940 to 45 in 1990. At the turn of the twenty-first century Texola had 47 residents and served as a "bedroom" community. The Magnolia Service Station (NR 95000028) was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Profiles of America, Vol. 2 (2d ed.; Millerton, N.Y.: Grey House Publishing, 2003). "Texola," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.
Linda D. Wilson
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