| Caddo The 1860 census reported fewer than 200 residents in Stephens County. That year, Joe Schoolcraft settled on Caddo Creek, 15 miles south of a Caddo Indian village. He built his home on the north bank of Caddo Creek at Elm Creek. The town grew during the next decade, and in 1876, local ranchers began recording their brands at the courthouse. Early settlers included Jere Hart, C.J. Johnson, A.W. Corbett, Tom Thompson, W.B. Richardson, William Copeland, John Robinson and Josephus Knott, as well as the Graceys, Swensons, McMeens, Lees and Winstons. Perry K. Taylor opened a store in 1875. Shortly thereafter, R.Q. Lee and the Butlers opened the Big Red Store, which became Sandidge, Lee & Co. in 1906. The Caddo post office opened in 1877. In 1883, the town hired Dora Mandy as the first schoolteacher. A two-story structure was built in 1890 and was used for school, church and Masonic lodge meetings; it burned in 1910, and residents then built a red brick and rock schoolhouse on Caddo Creek. The first physician came in 1886, and the town's early doctors included a woman named Dr. Evans. Local churches organized in the 1890s; the Baptist congregation built its sanctuary in 1894. Early settler Tom Lay hauled water to local residents, who also had access to telephone service in 1898. Cattle, horses, sheep and cotton were the mainstay of the town until 1916, when the first oil well came in. In 1919, Caddo led the state in oil production. The boom, which attracted thousands of new residents and numerous businesses, lasted until the early 1920s. By World War II, the population had declined. The last class of maroon and white Caddo Cougars graduated in 1945; the town consolidated its school with Breckenridge. Highway construction bypassed the town in the 1950s, and Caddo's population continued to decrease. Fewer than 50 people lived in the town in 2000, most relying on agriculture and oil. |
This page last updated: 7/15/2008
Caddo Historical Marker Location Map, Texas
Related Themes: Texas Freemasons, Masonic Lodges, Freemasonry
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