At a time of low crop production and depressed farm economy, Smith County became the birthplace of the County Agricultural Agent concept. This occurred in an historic meeting Nov. 12, 1906, in an opera house near this site. Present were Dr. Seaman A. Knapp of the United States Department of Agriculture, County Judge S. A. Lindsey, and some 44 local leaders—many belonging to the Tyler Commercial Club which sought to underwrite farm improvement.
Smith County that day appointed Wm. C. Stallings (1842-1916) the first county agent in Texas and the first in the nation to serve only one county.
Three years earlier the first cooperative farm demonstration program was begun on the Walter C. Porter property, Kaufman County. That successful application of scientific farming operations and appointment of Stallings (an outstanding farmer of the Dixie community, west of Tyler) were first steps toward establishment of the County Agricultural Agents' system, now known the world over as the Cooperative Extension Service. Today its educational programs further development of agricultural and human resources in both rural and urban areas.