Blossom Texas History and Information
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Blossom Texas, a History
Blossom is on the Missouri Pacific Railroad and at the intersection of Farm Road 196 and U.S. Highway 82. If you want coordinates, try; 33°39'41"N, 95°23'1"W (33.661395, -95.383675) This is nine miles east of Paris in eastern Lamar County.
The site that would become Blossom, Texas was occupied by 1849 and was known as Blossom Prarie.
The post office opened under the name Blossom Prairie in 1849.
Current Post Office
The Blossom school reported four teachers and 259 students in 1896.
Current School District
In a message from the Superintendent:
"The mission of Prairiland ISD is to ensure that all of our students have access to a quality education that enables them to achieve their full potential and fully participate now and in the future in the social, economic, and educational opportunities in our state and nation. That mission is grounded on the conviction that a general diffusion of knowledge is essential for the welfare of the state of Texas, our communities and for the preservation of the liberties and rights of Texas citizens. It is further grounded on the conviction that a successful public education system is directly related to a strong, dedicated, and supportive family and that parental involvement in the school is essential for the maximum educational achievement of a child".
In 1876 the settlement became a stop on the Texas and Pacific Railway and was soon a shipping point for the products in the area. By 1884 the population was reported at about 1,000. Businesses, including five steam-operated gristmill-cotton gins, four sawmills, five grocery stores, two drugstores, three saloons, two dry goods stores, and Mrs. L. E. Jackson's millinery, were in operation. There were also three churches, a district school, a telegraph office, three doctors, a lawyer, a barber, an undertaker, plus a newspaper, the Knights of Honor Sentinel, was published weekly. D. G. Flenniken was postmaster.
Incorporation happened in 1886. Two years later citizens shortened the name to Blossom. Postmaster W. H. Byrn reported 1,200 inhabitants in 1890. By then, a new gin and mill, as well as several new sawmills, had been established. The Blossom Bee, with William Chester as editor, had replaced the Sentinel as the weekly newspaper. New businesses included a livery stable, a butcher shop, two confectioneries, the Crockett brothers' photography studio, and Mrs. L. R. Burke's hotel.
In 1892 postmaster Green B. Eades had opened a furniture factory, Mollie E. Cross had established a new millinery shop, and the Exchange Bank was in operation with a capital of $30,000.
During the 1890s the depletion of the local lumber supply led many mills and workers to leave the area, and by 1900 the town population had decreased to 874. Early in the 1900s new businesses and cotton crops replaced lumberyards in Blossom's economy. In 1914 a cottonseed oil mill, a cotton gin, a brickyard, a produce company, and a broom factory were in operation. A few tourists came for locally produced mineral water that was reportedly effective against digestive problems. Another hotel and another bank, as well as several restaurants and clothing stores, opened, and residents had access to a new telephone exchange. They had also organized a band and an orchestra.
Throughout the 1920s Blossom's population increased, reaching 1,200 in 1929. With the Great Depression, however, many farmers and stock raisers left the area for cities. Even with thirty businesses in 1931, the number of residents had plummeted to 650 and by 1933 only eighteen businesses remained open. Maps for 1936 showed a small town with 858 inhabitants and a sizable but sparsely settled school district. World War II did not bring much in the way of economic relief. Residents left, businesses closed, and farming became the main occupation. In 1955 the population was 780, and fifteen businesses remained in operation. The town had 545 inhabitants in 1962. Maps for 1964 showed the school and four churches. A dam on Cuthand Creek had impounded City Lake. The Blossom Independent School District had been absorbed into the Prairieland Independent School District by 1970. In the 1970s, although businesses continued to close, the population began to grow, as many people chose to live in Blossom and work in nearby Paris. By 1980 the number of residents had reached 1,133, and eleven business were in operation. Blossom had 1,487 residents in 1983 and 1,737 in 1989, when the town supported nine businesses. In 1990 the population was 1,440, and in 2000 it was 1,439.
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