Other Views of Honey Grove

Other Views from 1886

Where is Honey Grove?

Above: Henry Wellge (1850–1917). Honey Grove, Tex. Fannin County. 1886, 1885. Toned lithograph, 12.8 x 20. 9 in.,by Beck & Pauli, Litho. Milwaukee, Wis. Published by Norris, Wellge & Co. Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth.

Honey Grove in 1886

Traveling eastward, probably on the Texas and Pacific Railroad, Wellge continued his tour of North Texas with a visit to Honey Grove, a little more than forty miles from Denison. The city got its name from a nearby grove of trees, where the early settlers found an apiary. The arrival of the T&P in 1873 had turned the village of about 300 persons into a small, regional center with a population of almost 3,000. Judging by the unusually long list of forty-three places, businesses, and names at the bottom of the print, most of the residents were in a promotional mood. One man even listed his occupation as traveling salesman.

Wellge pictured this idyllic city from the southwest in late 1885. He placed the railroad, with its passenger and freight depots, in the foreground. Two loaded cotton platforms on either side of the railroad and the nearby gins and mills emphasize the agricultural bounty of the country, with cotton as the leading crop. Honey Grove was representative of the agricultural South, where cotton, a cash crop, had begun to replace crops that characterized a subsistence economy and where the railroad provided a distribution system that permitted the ever-growing mills to sell their produce to a larger region.[1]

With no courthouse to depict, Wellge focused on the substantial buildings around the large public square and the two-story high school (1 on map) at Pekan [sic] and Tenth streets. Unlike Koch, he included a number of fences throughout the view, but he did not include power lines or telegraph wires.