Location: City Park, Main and East St. ( FM 709), Dawson,
Copyright © 2001 by Mark A. Murphy
This community grew out of
Spring Hill ( 4 mi NE), the oldest settlement in Navarro County. A
Republic of Texas Indian Agent, Dr. George Washington
Spring Hill in 1838 as a trading post to improve relationships with the Indians.
When Britton Dawson (1817 -
1905) came to Texas, he lived first in Jasper County. He settled
at Spring Hill in 1846 on land he received as bounty for his service in
the Battle of San
Jacinto. Married twice and the father of 13
children, Dawson moved here in 1847 and later built a large home that
served as a stagecoach stop.
In 1881 the Texas & St.
Louis railroad, known later as the "Cotton Belt", came through
here on its route from Tyler to Waco. Dawson's sons, David
E. and W. H., and their wives gave 100 acres in 1881 for a town-site on
the new railroad. Named for the Dawsons, the town grew
rapidly. Residents of Spring Hill, excited about business
prospects, moved here. The railroad promptly set up a box
car for a depot. Churches and schools were established
immediately. Many merchants as well as the Masonic lodge moved
here from Spring Hill. This shift of population caused the Spring
Hill community to decline while Dawson flourished. (1978)