#NC10SC: History of Memphis, Texas

#NC10SC: History of Memphis, Texas
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

MEMPHIS, TX (KFDA) - Cotton runs this town, and always has been the biggest commodity in the area, but it's only part of the rich history of Memphis, which, by the way, got it's name thanks to an incorrectly addressed letter.

It all started in the late 1800s when a letter that was supposed to be written to Memphis, Tennessee, made it's way to the Texas state capital.

"A person that I guess was a part of the Fathers of Memphis was in Austin and I guess a letter was returned and it said it was addressed to Memphis, Texas," said Mollie Moffitt, President of the Hall County Heritage Hall Museum. "So he came back and they decided that they should name it Memphis, Texas."

And thus, Memphis was born and ever since then has been known for its cotton.

"There used to be as many as five, maybe six, gins here in the city of Memphis and then if you did about a 40 mile radius there'd be as many as 15 to 20 gins," said Kevin Huddleston, owner of K. Huddleston Cotton Co. "Now we're down to two in Hall County."

As cotton farming mechanized, Memphis got smaller. In its heyday the population was over 4000 people, but the 2200 people that live here now are here to stay.

"I think you get to know your neighbor," Mayor Robert Maddox said. "You get to know your next door neighbor to that neighbor. You get to know people in that community."

And who says you cant have fun in a small town?

The Memphis City Park - a pride of the community - has a 500 seat amphitheater that was built back during the WPA days. Plays and musicals are performed out there, and it's the 'Go-To' place for family reunions.

Plus, the park has a little exciting piece of history of its own.

"In our park, an Indian was found," City Secretary Nelwyn Ward said. "The skull was discovered and after some digging they found that it was an Indian probably in his 40's that passed away. He was sitting in a sitting position."

Seated on two major highways, Memphis has lots of room for potential growth. But it will always keep its small-town way of life.

"We're sort of like a brother and a sister, all the citizens," Maddox said. "We fuss, we feud, and we fight. But when the need is there we bond together as a family unit to take care of those that are in need, and I think that's wonderful we have rapport with our citizens."

Almost all of the city's history is preserved in a museum in the Memphis square - and there are some unique items in there you'll definitely want to hear more about.

We'll take a look inside tonight on the News at Ten.

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