The fertile Blackland Prairie and water from Bear Creek attracted settlers to the area in the mid-1850’s. The St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railway laid tracks through the area in 1888.
The community adopted the name Lavon in honor of Lavon Thompson, the son of E.C. Thompson, who operated the town’s post office, established in 1888.
The flag stop, on what became the St. Louis Southwestern Railway of Texas in the early 1890’s, served as a commercial center for farmers and increased the population of Lavon from an estimated twenty-five in the late 1880’s to 300 by 1910.
In 1913 the Richard Royal chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution marked the grave of John Abston, who was buried near Lavon. Abston fought in the battle of Kin’s Mountain during the war, and later moved to Texas.
The population of Lavon hovered near 200 through the 1930’s and 1940’s, and in 1940 five businesses served its residents. These population and business figures varied only slightly between 1940 and 1980, despite the construction of Lavon Lake in 1952-53, two miles west of town.
The lake did, however, bring boaters, fishermen, and picnickers to replace farmers as the most frequent visitors to the community. In 1980, the newly incorporated Lavon had one business, serving 306 residents.
During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, a number of smaller housing developments served to approximately double the population of Lavon, and brought the city’s first new businesses in decades; an auto repair facility, quick-stop grocery / gas station, a branch bank, barbecue restaurant, and others.
TODAY, Lavon is on the verge of explosive growth, largely due to the introduction of the Grand Heritage housing development project, which will introduce an estimated 1900 new homes over the next seven years. By March of 2006, the first 300+ new homes will be a reality. New shopping centers have already arrived along Highway 78, with several more being planned.
To get Census Information for Lavon Texas; U.S. Census 2010 Information
Could Lake Lavon have been named “Lake Thompson Switch?” Who was Josephine? What are the Gumbo Pits and how did Nevada (nuh-vay-duh) get its name?
Where was Milltown and what was the Central National Road?
Answers to questions like that were explored by those who boarded the seventh annual Colln County Cruise under the direction of the Collin County Historical Commission and the County Coalition of Historic Groups.
The Central National Road was the area’s first road, extending from John Neely Bryan’s crossing on the bank of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River in Dallas County to Travis Wright’s landing on the south bank of the Red River opposite the mouth of the Kiarnichi River. The road crossed through Collin County just west of the present site of Josephine and connected with existing roads that enabled international traffic between St. Louis and San Antonio. The road literally put Collin County on the map.
Before it was Lavon, the community was Thompson Switch, named for the early postmaster Elbert C. Thompson. The subsequent name Lavon was from Thompson’s son, Lavon “Bud” Thompson.
In the 1840s travelers along a major trail from Bonham to Dallas would camp on the creek near the early settlement of Millwood, site of three mills, a school, a church and the homes of nearly 200 people. the only reminders of the town are some grinding stones and the well-maintained Millwood Cemetery, which overlooks a hilly landscape said to contain Indian ceremonial mounds.
Two stories explain Nevada’s name. Granville Stinebaugh bought the original 160-acre site for $480 and chose the name, some say, because he liked the sound of it when he was on his way to California for the 1849 Gold Rush. Others say he chose the name as a reminder of his hometown, Nevada, Mo., which uses the same pronunciation. Stinebaugh’s chosen home flourished until May 9,1927, when a tornado ripped through, killing 27 people and injuring 75 more. Rescuers tended to the wounded in the shelter of the Baptist Church, where the blood stains on pews remain apparent to this day.
When. J.C. Hubbard founded a town in 1888, he named Josephine for his daughter. The Farmersville settler gave the four-acre site to the St. Louis Arkansas and Texas Railroad. Fires razed the town in 1910 and in 1935. Near town, the railroad (since named the Cotton Belt RR) manufactured Ballast Gumbo Gravel by burning wood with a combination of local clay. Long after the large pits no longer produce the synthetic gravel for bedding cross ties, they are popular fishing holes.
Plano Star Courier, April 2005