Civil War center for manufacturing, supply and travel. Place of enrollment of several Confederate army units. Local industries supporting the war effort included 3 tanyards—sidelines of the beef slaughtering trade that helped feed troops and civilians. The tanyards made leather for soldiers' boots and shoes and for cavalry saddles, bridles and harness. On nearby rivers or ponds were 3 sawmills, one grist (corn meal) mill and a distillery. Foundries in the area were predecessors of the 20th century Lone Star Steel Company.
An "old" town before the Civil War. Founded about 1830 at a spring where Capt. London Daingerfield was killed by Indians. The square was laid off in 1841 when this was designated seat of justice for judicial county of Paschal. Courts continued to be held here, though Paschal was abolished in 1842.
One noted 1842 trial was for a group that included Stephen Peters (one of the men who had platted the town square), accused of murdering Robert Potter. Potter, formerly secretary of the navy and one of the authors of the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, had been killed in the Regulator-Moderator Feud, a political power struggle in East Texas.