Webster historical marker to be dedicated

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A marker dedication will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. where the community of Webster thrived in the mid-1800s to the early 1920s. The location is off Hwy. 37 and Wood County Road 4830.

Webster was first inhabited by a Caddo Indian tribe that came to Northeast Texas around 800 A.D. Evidence of either a temporary camp or a small Caddo settlement was found in Webster along with two burial sites. By the 1840s and 1850s, the Caddo presence had dwindled in the Webster area. Pioneers settled the area working as farmers, tradesmen and store owners.

Established in 1845, the town of Webster, first known as Prospect Hill, grew from transportation and trade along the Jefferson to Dallas road. Families built homes in Webster and established a post office in 1855. In 1856, the town’s name was changed to honor Daniel Webster.

The Civil War almost destroyed the economy of the community, but later it experienced a renewal when a Jewish businessman, anticipating a railroad, brought new life to Webster. However, the railroad bypassed the town and moved to Winnsboro instead.

In the 1880s, the Webster School District formed with Mount Zion School on Sandy Creek serving African-American children and the Webster School serving Anglo students. A two-teacher Rosenwald School opened for Webster’s African-American students in the 1924-25 school year.

Despite a small oil boom in the 1940s, Webster’s population decreased in the 20th Century and it is considered a ghost town by many. The community exists only in a few historic resources and through its legacy as one of the oldest communities in Wood County.

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