History of Cass County
Cass County is layered in history much like most other counties in the state with stories of how the counties were formed, named and how they stand in present time.
Cass County was whittled out of Bowie County April 25, 1846 and organized July 13, 1846.
The county was named in honor of Gen. Lewis Cass who was a United States soldier and statesman and a strong advocate of annexation of Texas.
Linden, near the center of the county, was named the county seat.
The Caddo Indians, an agricultural people with a highly developed culture, had occupied the area for centuries before the arrival of Europeans, but disease and threats from other Indians forced them to abandon the region in the final years of the eighteenth century.
Anglo settlement in the area that became Cass County began in the 1830s. Among the earliest settlers was Reece Hughes, who built a cabin near three mineral springs which later became known as Hughes Springs.
Other towns or communities in Cass County and the surrounding area were named after towns in Georgia by settlers from that state such as Atlanta, Douglassville, Smyrna and Marietta to name a few.
Cass County also has the distinction of connecting Texas with the states of Arkansas and Louisiana.
The area is known as Three States which is an unincorporated community in Caddo Parish, La., Miller County, Ark., and Cass County.
Three States has the distinction of being perhaps the only community in the United States that is part of two metropolitan areas.
U.S. Highway 59, which runs from Mexico to Canada, connects Linden, Atlanta, and Queen City with and the county’s transportation needs are also served by State highways 8, 11, 77, and 155 and by two rail lines, the Missouri Pacific and the Louisiana and Arkansas.
The Eagles lead singer Don Henley was born in Linden and even entitled his last album Cass County in which he grew up in.
Here is a brief look at historical records of some of the towns, communities or ghost towns in Cass County.
Atlanta – was named after the city in Georgia by early settlers from that state in 1871 when the Texas and Pacific Railroad arrived and the post office opened.
Avinger – was a settlement called Hickory Hill in the early 1840s. Dr. H. J. Avinger, who also operated a store, had the town renamed in his honor.
Bloomburg - was settled before the Civil War, but it didn’t take off until the Texarkana and Fort Smith Railway arrived in 1895. When the post office was granted (1896) the town was named for a railroad official.
Bryan’s Mill - is at the junction of Farm roads 994 and 1766, seventeen miles northwest of Linden in northwestern Cass County. In 1873 W. C. Bryan and W. T. Stewart constructed a sawmill at the site. Cass - was settled in the early 1890s, when the Texarkana and Fort Smith Railway was built through the county. The first post office was established in March 1894 and named Sheffield, but the name was changed to Cass in 1896.
Cornett - was settled before the Civil War and was first named Hamil’s Chapel and then Troup, for Troup County, Georgia, the original home of many of its early settlers. The name was changed to Cornett in honor of the G. T. Cornett family, who owned land in the area.
Domino - was established in the late nineteenth century as a flag stop on the Texas and Pacific Railway. Douglassville – was first settled in the 1850s, settler John Douglass is the community’s namesake.
Huffines - was settled in the 1870s. When the community received a post office in 1881 it was named for R. M. Huffines, a surveyor who lived there.
Hughes Springs – was formed in 1839 when Reese Hughes built the first cabin in the area near three mineral springs.
Lanier – was named after Lanier, Georgia, the birthplace of an early settler, and had a store and a population of thirty in 1884.
Linden - is the county seat of Cass County, and was established in 1852 after a re-division of territory had given the old county seat, Jefferson, to Marion County.
Marietta – was once called Oak Ridge, but the name was changed when the community was granted a post office in 1880. The name came from early settler Marietta Wommack.
Milner - was settled in the early 1870s and named Milner, in honor of William J. Milner, an early settler.
Bivins - was named after J. K. and Frank H. Bivins – owners of one of two sawmills in the area around 1889.
Kildare - was named after a railroad official when the post office opened in 1874. Kildare consolidated its school district with Linden thus becoming Linden-Kildare.
Fant - was named for James C. Fant, who ran the post office, which was established in 1894 but discontinued in 1901.
Queen City – was founded in 1877. The name was a favorite title bestowed on a variety of towns - for reasons of promotion. Galveston was once referred to as the “Queen City” of Texas. Rarely, however, was a town ever officially named Queen City.
Antioch – was originally called Anti, Texas, the community grew around a church that was established in 1856.
Viola - was named after the daughter of William Cobb, gristmill and cotton gin operator. The community was granted a post office in 1879.
Smyrna – was settled in 1880s and named so in honor of the early Christian church that suffered much persecution in the ancient Turkish city of Smyrna.
Red Hill – was named by William Lambert, an early settler, for the red, clayey bank of Frazier’s Creek, upon which it is located. A post office operated there from 1878 until 1905.
Cusseta - was settled in the early 1850s and was named for Cusseta, Alabama, the hometown of John Robin Heard, an early settler. A post office was established there in 1856.
Munz City- was named after the Munzheimer brothers, the founders of the community.
In the late 1800s two wealthy brothers, Gus and Harry (or Herman) Munzheimer from Texarkana bought a large tract of timberland in the northern Cass County area along the Sulphur River, but the Munz City was destroyed by a tornado in 1914.
Dalton – was formed in the period following the Civil War.
Sardis - was settled just before the Civil War, and the oldest known grave in the cemetery there dates from 1862.
O’Farrell - was established in 1886 and remained in operation until 1905.
Roach - was named for the family of Dr. J. Roach, a Cass County physician.
Hermitage - was on the banks of Kelley’s Creek fifteen miles northwest of Linden.
Lanark – was a settlement which began in the early 1870s, when the Texas and Pacific Railway was built across that portion of the county.
Pleasant Hill - is one of the oldest African-American communities in Texas and as of 2009 the school was restored and is used as a community center. The school was named a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 2010.
Law’s Chapel – was founded in 1853 by George Law and wife Martha, pioneers from Georgia.
The towns, communities and ghost towns are rich in history just like Cass County is overall.