Alvarado in Johnson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Early settler David Mitchell established a trading post near here in the late 1840s, about the time colonists of W. S. Peters' empresario grant began to settle the area. Colonist William Balch, who settled on an area land grant in 1852, was later to become known as the "Father of Alvarado" for his efforts in having the townsite surveyed in 1854, establishing the first general merchandise stores on the square, and for donating land for a cemetery, school, and union church. The town, named for Alvarado, Mexico, soon boasted a post office, homes, businesses, and churches. A community school established about 1855 became The Alvarado Masonic Institute in 1875.
Rail lines extended through Alvarado by the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1881 and by the Chicago, Texas, and Mexican Central Railroad in 1884 spurred a local economic boom. By 1885 Alvarado had several churches, two schools, two gins, an opera house, a bank, a newspaper, and a population of about 2,000. The Masonic Institute became the Alvarado Normal Institute in 1899 and Alvarado High School in 1908-09.
A large jail/town hall erected at this site in the mid-1880s
Erected 1994 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 137.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1840.
Location. 32° 24.402′ N, 97° 12.71′ W. Marker is in Alvarado, Texas, in Johnson County. Marker is on East College Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Alvarado TX 76009, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Outlaws Benjamin Bickerstaff and Josiah Thompson (within shouting distance of this marker); Alvarado Masonic Lodge No. 314, A.F. & A.M. (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Methodist Church (about 600 feet away); Balch Cemetery (approx. ¼ mile away); Balch-Senterwood Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); Alvarado Glenwood Cemetery (approx. 0.6 miles away); Johnson County Pioneers and Old Settlers Reunion (approx. 0.7 miles away); First Baptist Church of Alvarado (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alvarado.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 30, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 23, 2021, by Jesse Nelsen of Farmersville, Texas. This page has been viewed 182 times since then and 67 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 23, 2021, by Jesse Nelsen of Farmersville, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.