Jonesville, Texas was originally named Border since it was so close to Louisiana. The city of Border was established sometime in the 1840s. But the historians really do not know. The town had its own post office until 1849 when the town was renamed Jonesville, after the town’s first business owner, William Jones.
The neighboring town of Concord eventually merged with Jonesville and in 1868 Jonesville moved a mile south to be on the Southern Pacific Railroad. This way they could be closer to the rail way and they could ship the cotton from the surrounding area.
By 1884, the town had grown in size. At that time, they had a population of sixty. They also had a steam gristmill cotton gin and two general stores.
By 1892, town had an estimated 275 residents along with a Methodist church, Baptist church, and a saloon.
But the town’s population started to slowly decline. By 1933, Jonesville’s population had a 150 residents.
By 1950 the community was down to 100 residents and two businesses. Then in 1972, Jonesville was down to 28 residents and only one business.
1950 Jonesville had an estimated 100 residents and two businesses, and in 1972 twenty-eight residents and one business. As of 2000, Jonesville still had a population of 28 and one business.
What’s Left of Jonesville, Texas
There isn’t much left of Jonesville, mostly storage buildings and several residents. The only active business is the General Store and has served the community since 1847.
T.C. Lindsey & Company General Store is owned by Patricia Ann Vaughan, Marty Vaughan, Ellen Vaughan Miller, and Lelia Vaughan. The store was originally owned by William Harrison Jones and was called the Jones Trading Post.
When the town moved, so did the store. The current building was built in 1922 and has been the T.C. Lindsey & Company General Store ever since.
Although I haven’t had the chance to see the inside, from what I have read, its like a time capsule to the past. It still carries products that the community has needed for over a hundred years. The store is also a museum of antiques and other information about the town.
Just at the edge of town, the old Cotton Gin Bar still stands. From the road it looks like the steam gristmill cotton gin is still housed.
The family also owns the cotton gin, but the cotton gin closed it doors 1973 after the cotton production declined.
As for the rest of the buildings in town, they are all boarded up but, well kept. Several buildings are right up next the tracks and were probably for cotton storage and loading onto the trains.
Then there are a few other buildings that I am not sure what they were used for. One looks like storage, while the other looks like it might be an old train station.
On my way to visit family in Mississippi, I took a side trip to check out the small town of Jonesville. I had originally, planed to check out the general store and possibly talk with owners about the town and its buildings. Maybe even get a chance to check the cotton gin a little closer. But the store was closed and the weather wasn’t looking so good.
When I left Dallas, it was overcast and the rain started chasing me about Canton, Texas. Luckily, I stayed ahead of the weather for most of the trip. I even had some time to take a look at most of the buildings. Because of the cloud cover and low light conditions, it gives the town kind of a creepy feeling. But trust me, it just a quiet small town.
I shot the buildings in town with my Sony Nex-3N with the pancake kit lens, then processed them with Adobe Lightroom and post processed the image with Topaz Labs Clarity to add more texture, remove shadows, boost brightness and contrast. I finished processing the image with some vignetting.
At some point, I plan on visiting the town again and getting some shots up close to the buildings and inside the store. Maybe even learn more about the store and its owners. But for now check out the article “Step Back in Time” for images of inside the store and more information about the town.