Texarkana -- Defying Boundaries from the Very Start

On December 8, 1873, the community of Texarkana was established, and the first store in town -- a combination drug and grocery store operated by George M. Clark -- opened for business.

The town is in two states, Texas and Arkansas, and near another, Louisiana. The name "Texarkana" combines the three state names.

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The strategic position of Texarkana is the keynote to its history and development. The Great Southwest Trail, for hundreds of years the main line of travel from Indian villages of the Mississippi River country to Indian villages of the south and west, passed by a Caddo Indian village on the future Texarkana site. When the builders of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad crossed Arkansas in the late 1850s, and by 1874 pushed their rails beyond the Red River to the border of Texas, they met at Texarkana the railhead that had been extended to the state line by the builders of the Texas and Pacific. The road from the south bank of the Red River was completed on January 15, 1874, to the state line, where the city of Texarkana had been established the previous month at the site where the two roads would join.

Texarkana has grown to be a transportation, commercial, and industrial center with a population of 61,230.

(Texas State Historical Association information contributed to this article.)

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