Teague of Yesteryear
Teague is at the junction of U.S. Highway 84, State Highway 179, and Farm roads 80 and 145, nine miles southwest of Fairfield in western Freestone County. The area was first settled around the time of the Civil War. During the latter half of the nineteenth century a small community known as Brewer, grew up at the site. When the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway was built through the county in 1906, it located its machine and car shops at the site. The town, renamed Teague after Betty Teague, niece of railroad magnate Benjamin Franklin Yoakum, was incorporated in 1906.
The community served as a shipping center for area cotton farmers and grew rapidly. By 1914 it had Baptist, Catholic, Disciples of Christ, Methodist, Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal, and Presbyterian churches, as well as public schools, waterworks, an electric light plant, an ice plant, three banks, two cotton gins, a cottonseed oil mill, a cotton compress, the Teague Daily News, two weekly newspapers, and a population of 3,300. Teague continued to prosper during the 1920's.
The onset of the Great Depression and plummeting cotton prices, however, began a slow decline that continued until the 1980's. The number of businesses dropped from 140 in 1931 to 100 in 1936. After World War II many other stores and businesses closed, and by the early 1980's only forty-six rated businesses remained. The town also witnessed a decline in population during the same period; it reached a low of some 2,800 in 1975. After the mid-1980's, however, the population grew steadily, and in 1990 Teague had 3,268 residents. The Area has large coal, lignite, sand, and clay deposits, In recent years natural gas production has become an important industry.
Long, Christopher. "Marker Files." Austin: Texas Historical Commission. Rpt. In The New Handbook of Texas. Ed. Ron Tyler. Vol. 6. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996. 231.
The present population of Teague is approximately 4,557 with over 100 businesses in the city. In August of 1992 the William R. Boyd Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice opened 3 miles east of Teague. It is a maximum-security unit that employs approximately 365 area residents.