In 1906, the Texas State Railroad built to this area for timber to fuel iron manufacturing at the penitentiary in Rusk. The branch prison established at the railhead was called Camp Wright. When Rusk native Thomas Campbell became governor, he persuaded the Legislature to extend the line to Palestine, where it met the I&GN Railway. The line brought new settlement to the Camp Wright area, and in 1910, residents platted the new town of Maydelle, named for the Governor's daughter, who sang at the townsite's dedication. The town was an early center for cotton, timber and tomato production, but its population, like in other rural Texas towns, declined by the latter part of the 20th century.