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Town of Magnolia, Montgomery County Texas

Excerpts from “A History of Montgomery County, Texas” Chapter V, Cities, Towns, and Communities,
by William Harley Gandy”: For Sources, see Endnotes:

Magnolia, Texas which is located in the western part of Montgomery County, had a hard time in getting a name that would stick. In the 1850's the town went under the name of Mink, since the particular site of the town was in the early days known as Mink's Prairie. In 1902 the Ft. Worth division of the International and Great Northern was built through the western end of the county and the name Mink was changed to Melton, in honor of Jim Melton, who at that time had rather large land holdings in the western part of Montgomery County. Soon this name was found to be frequently confused with that of Milton, Texas, causing considerable difficulty in routing the mail. Officials of the railroad and the post office department discussed the matter with the residents of Melton, and a decision was reached to call the town Magnolia, due to the fact that a great many magnolia trees grew in that vicinity. 103


More on Magnolia Texas


  1. MAGNOLIA, TEXAS. Magnolia is on the Missouri Pacific line at the junction of Farm roads 1774 and 1488, twenty miles southwest of Conroe in southwestern Montgomery County. It was first settled in the late 1840s and named Mink's Prairie for one of the early settlers; its name had been shortened to Mink by 1850. On September 3, 1885, a post office was established at Mink with John F. Dobbs as postmaster. The community's population was twenty-five by 1900. In 1902, when the International-Great Northern Railroad built a line through the area, the town moved to its present location. The railroad named it Melton, in honor of Jim Melton, a large landowner in the county, but the United States Post Office confused it with Milton. Consequently it was renamed Magnolia for the magnolia trees in the bottoms of adjacent Mill Creek and granted a post office in 1903.

By 1915 Magnolia had a population of 150 and telephone service, a sawmill, Baptist and Methodist churches, two general stores, a physician, a railroad and express agent, a hotel, a livery and real estate office, a cattle dealer, a druggist, a confectionery, a cotton gin, and a blacksmith. By the 1940s the Magnolia oilfield had been established a mile east of town, and the community's population had increased to 400. At this time Magnolia had a station on the International-Great Northern Railroad, a post office, a cemetery, two churches, two schools, ten businesses, and forty-five dwellings. The Grogan-Cochran lumber camp was located two miles southeast of town.

By 1962 the Missouri Pacific had taken over the railroad line, and Magnolia had two high schools, a church, a landing field, and a small collection of dwellings within several miles of the town center. Magnolia was incorporated on September 28, 1968. Its population grew in the 1960s and early 1970s, reaching 1,150 by 1971. By 1980 its population had declined to 867, but by 1989 it had grown to 1,132, and the town had 124 businesses. By 1990 the population of Magnolia had declined again to 940.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin. W. N. Martin, A History of Montgomery, Texas (M.A. thesis, Sam Houston State Teachers College, 1950). Montgomery County Genealogical Society, Montgomery County History, (Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Hunter, 1981).

Will Branch



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