Van Alstyne in Grayson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
The town of Mantua was established about 3 miles southwest of here in 1854. Mantua prospered but was unexpectedly bypassed in 1873 when the Houston and Texas Central Railway (H&TC) extended its track through this area instead. That year a depot was built and a post office established in the new town named for Maria Van Alstyne, the widow of W. A. Van Alstyne who had been a principal stockholder of the H&TC.
Churches, businesses, and people of Mantua and other area towns moved here to be near the railroad. Van Alstyne was incorporated and a newspaper established in 1883. Columbia College was founded in 1889.
Van Alstyne contained banks, schools, hotels, an opera house, a literary club, and electric service by 1900, when cotton and other farm production dominated the local economy. Interurban transportation began in 1908. The local "Grays" semi-pro baseball team, established about 1902, played for many decades and produced a number of major league players.
Many local businesses, churches, and social organizations trace their origins to Mantua and 19th century Van Alstyne. The historic downtown area, the former site of popular Saturday night social activities, continues as a business and social center.
Erected 1994 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number
Location. 33° 25.338′ N, 96° 34.537′ W. Marker is in Van Alstyne, Texas, in Grayson County. Marker is at the intersection of Jefferson Street (State Highway 121) and Main Street, on the left when traveling east on Jefferson Street. Touch for map. Marker is in Dorothy Fielder Park. Marker is in this post office area: Van Alstyne TX 75495, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Veterans Memorial (a few steps from this marker); First United Methodist Church of Van Alstyne (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Christian Church of Van Alstyne (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mantua (approx. 2½ miles away); Coffman Cemetery (approx. 6.2 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Van Alstyne TX. (Submitted on April 22, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. City of Van Alstyne Official Website. (Submitted on April 22, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Agriculture • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 22, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 354 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 22, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.