Category Archives: Ringgold

What Became of Harrisonia – In the News

The 13 Oct 1892 edition of the Dallas Morning News gives rave reviews of newly established town in Montague, County.  The purpose of the article was to entice settlers to the town.

Harrisonia – At the junction of the Rock Island and Missouri, Kansas and Texas.

Four miles from the Red River in Montague County, and one mile from the Clay county line is a new town of Harrisonia.

A month ago a few tents were the only indication of habitancy.  Now it has a comely two-story hotel, a well stocked hardware store, another mercantile house ready for the stock on the way, several dwellings occupied, a big lumber yard and a brick yard in operation.  Harrisonia is the junction of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas and the Rock Island railways.  The latter road is completed to the Red River, the bridge over which will be completed in three weeks.  The ground is laid out and graded for the two depots which will be built right away.

Water is supplied in plenty from a 15 foot well on the main street.  Other wells are but a few feet deeper, and strange to say, those on the highest eminence are the most prolific and with least depth.  Down by the Y connecting the two roads, water appeared without asking, and the greatest of blessings is a permanent surety.

Joe Anderson began the foundation for a store this morning and R B Kuteman is filling lumber orders for four others.  E W Sandison gave a contract and Dr S G Bittick of Henrietta is on the ground and has ordered the erection of two handsome buildings.  R B Kuteman, a prominent mill and lumberman from Mineola, has invested and will put up several two and one story structures of brick.

A Thorp’s Springs committee had bought ten acres near Harrisonia for a commercial college.  Free lots are ready for a church of any denomination and lots for a public school are also as free as water.  The best of sandstone is right here, which by the way entered into the Rock Island railway bridge.

The clay is being tested at the brickyards, and lumber is coming in with nearly every train.  At the railway Y is a splendid location for a four mill and ground and stock have only to be asked for.

One great beauty about the Harrisonia land and the lands for miles around, is that there is not a flaw in any title and the abstracts are in the hands of the Harrisonians.  The village occupies a beautiful eminence gently sloping to the great rolling pastures.  The woods of the Chickasaw nation look like a neighboring orchard just beyond the river, and still beyond are the famous lands of the Comanches which will soon be opened up for white settlement.  From the village streets one can see about twenty miles of Texas and Indian Territory.

Villages are moving into Harrisonia, and in less than two months it will have a population of several hundred, yet a month ago there was neither a board or a shingle there.  A big wagon yard has jus been boarded in and is the present use for a livery and exchange stable, which will be commenced this week.  there is no question as to this new town being happily placed to become an important point.  It is about twenty miles from  Bowie, the county seat, and fifteen miles from Henrietta, the county seat of Clay.  It will command a great trade from the nations and territory, and its proximity to the Red River, only four miles, is also in its favor.  Ninety-eight village lots have been sold up to date and 2000 acres in tracts of from five acres up to over 100.  There is the best evidence to prove it healthy and the climate is all that can be desired with gentle breezes blowing summer heat away and causing mists to disperse.

Harrisonia is named after Joe Harris, who is known “from Dan to Beersheba.”  He has been a cattle king and is not far from it yet.  Last week he sold a herd of 3 year olds and they averaged $25 a piece.  Joe Harris owns 14000 acres, including 9000 acres in one tract, and says that when he built his first house in Texas he hauled lumber 150 miles and paid $50 a thousand, besides 2 bits a pound for the nails.

Harrisonia will be greatly increased in the next two weeks, as the village of Doss, two miles from here, is moving in, postoffice and all.  It is worthy of note that Charles Verne built the first house in Harrisonia.”

Just a few months later another article appeared in the Dallas Morning News (27 Nov 1892) with a slightly different take on the new town of Harrisonia:

Throw Up Your Hands – Highwaymen Put to Flight by a Nervy Traveler

About 11 o’clock Thursday night, while returning to this city (Gainesville), C N Stevens of Gainesville,  R D Gillenwaters of Sherman and a Mr Franks of Rush Springs, IT, were attacked by two men at the new town of Harrisonia, the junction of th Rock Island and Missouri, Kansas and Texas railways.  One of the men with a drawn revolver ordered the trio, who were traveling in a hack, to throw up their hands, but Mr Gillenwaters instead threw a colt’s revolver down on the would be robbers and demanded them to hold up.  The two men were so taken by surprise that their courage failed them and turning round they disappeared in the darkness.  On the night before two men were held up and robbed of $110 and two gold watches at the same place.”

Harrisonia?  Do you remember a town in Montague County named Harrisonia?  Well, when the town applied for a post office by that name it was rejected.  So Mr Harris renamed the community after his wife’s family….Ringgold.


Charles Stroup Taxidermist: The Odder the Better

Charles and Lydia Stroup came to Ringgold, Texas in 1893.  (Their daughter, Gladys, was the first girl to be born in Ringgold.)

Inside of shop_front

Mr. Stroup was a well-known taxidermist and his wife Lydia worked in the shop by his side.  Their shop doubled as an oddities museum.  The collection included lizards, a monkey, skunks, ferrets, and a two-headed calf just to name a few.  People came from all over the country to view the rare and unusual fare offered at the Stroup’s taxidermy shop.

The unique establish succumbed to fire on two occasions, once in 1913 and then again in 1928.  Stroup rebuilt both times.

Photos courtesy of Max Brown

Ringgold 1907 “In The News”

The following article is from the December 11, 1907 edition of the Fort Worth Star Telegram


The Ringgold State Bank’s report shows a very healthy growth in receipts and a very liberal patronage.

The new Methodist church, now under construction, is looming up.  Ringgold will soon have one of the nicest churches in North Texas.

The city has received 1400 bales of cotton this season, which has been far ahead of what was expected.  It was thought that 1000 bales would go against 1800 of last year.

W E Witt, a prominent farmer, living a few miles west of Ringgold has moved his family to Ringgold for the winter to take advantage of the schools.

The Ringgold high school’s first term has been a decided success and will end next Friday evening with a big entertainment.

On account of the large attendance at school the trustees have elected another teacher to help in the primary department.  Miss Beulah Hawthorne of Seago, Texas has accepted the position.