Photo from the
Corsicana Daily Sun
Located twenty-one miles southwest of Corsicana.
The town was named for Britton
Dawson, a cattle rancher and participant in the
Battle of San Jacinto. A Dawson post office first opened in 1882, and in 1883 the
community had a lumberyard and a drugstore. In 1990 its population was reported at 766.
DAWSON, TEXAS. Dawson is twenty-one miles southwest of Corsicana and fifty
miles south of Dallas in southwestern Navarro County. The town was named for
Britton Dawson, a cattle rancher and participant in the battle of San Jacinto,qv
who arrived in the area from Alabama in 1847 searching for grass and water for
his animals. He lived in the town until his death in 1903. The community began
to grow after 1881, when the St. Louis Southwestern Railway built a narrow-gauge
line from Corsicana to Waco. Dawson became a supply and shipping center for
local farmers who grew cotton and other crops. A Dawson post office opened in
1882, and in 1883 the community had a lumberyard and a drugstore. Ike Hughes
opened a photography studio not long after this but closed it in order to open a
saloon. In 1887 the Dawson Masonic Institute occupied a two-story frame
building; classes were held on the ground floor and Masonic lodge meetings on
the second. In 1926 the town had four cotton gins, two banks, a bottling works,
a telephone exchange, and a cottonseed oil mill; at that time the community also had three miles of pavement. Dawson
reported a population of 500 by 1887 and was incorporated in 1908. Its
population was reported as 950 from 1914 to the mid-1920s, peaked at 1,500 in
1928, and held steady at just over 1,100 from the early 1930s (when the
community had some sixty-five businesses) through the mid-1950s. In the 1960s
Dawson's population began to decrease and was reported as 789 in 1988, when the
community had seven businesses and a post office. In 1990 its population was
reported as 766.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Annie Carpenter Love, History of Navarro County
(Dallas: Southwestern, 1933). Wyvonne Putman, comp., Navarro County History
(5 vols., Quanah, Texas: Nortex, 1975-84).
Julie G. Miller
TX." The Handbook of Texas Online
Statistics & Facts:
- Zip Code: 76639
- The population of Dawson is approximately 766
- The approximate number of families is 408
- The amount of land area in Dawson is 4.588 sq. kilometers.
- The amount of surface water is 0.032 sq kilometers
- The distance from Dawson to Washington DC is 1246 miles. The distance to the Texas state capital is 125 miles. (as the crow flies)
- Dawson is positioned 31.89 degrees north of the equator and 96.71 degrees west of the prime meridian