BY MOLLY RILEY
This month’s issue of Texarkana Monthly is a sentimental look into the history of Texarkana. These twin cities have been deeply enriched by so many people with fascinating stories, traditions, and resources. We are taking the opportunity this holiday season to reflect on where we came from, who we are, and where we are going. So much of our incredible past is completely unknown to most of the community, but it’s a history that is worth knowing and passing on to the next generation of Texarkana residents.
THERE IS SOMETHING SO MAGICAL ABOUT THE MONTH OF DECEMBER.
Many consider December 8, 1873, to be the date our city was formally established. On that historical day, the first selling of town lots took place. Local historian, Dr. Beverly Rowe, explains in her book Historic Texarkana-An Illustrated History , that “Men from all over the region rode onto the site and camped out in order to be there on December 8, when the sale of town lots began. One of the first purchases made was by J.W. Davis. He is said to have purchased the lot where the Hotel McCartney was later built and still stands today, across from Union Station.” “The establishment of Texarkana, Arkansas, and Texarkana, Texas, was more the result of national railroad expansion than it was the actions of the earliest settlers,” writes Dr. Rowe. Texarkana’s early economy was built on timber, wood products, cotton and rail transportation. By way of the railroad industry the Texarkana area served as a gateway to the Southwest. It wasn’t long after the Civil War ended that “The establishment of Texarkana as a ‘railroad town’ was a story repeated across the nation in other towns by the hundreds, if not thousands.” Today, whether you are in downtown
COMMUNITY & CULTURE
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