5 Things You Didn’t Know About New Boston
Perhaps you think there isn’t much to know about New Boston. After all, it’s a small town only a short drive from Texarkana which you’ve likely driven past on I-30 countless times as you headed toward the thriving metropolis of Dallas. But amazingly enough, there’s a lot more to this town than meets the eye.
The original Boston was established while part of Mexico to serve plantations along the Red River and was named for W.J. Boston, the first storekeeper in town. When the Texas and Pacific Railroad established a shipping point four miles north of Boston in the 1870s, the new town was platted in 1876 and became New Boston, while the original town came to be called Old Boston.
While almost every botanical garden has a Ginkgo biloba, also known as the maidenhair tree, New Boston has the largest one of its kind in the state of Texas. Located at 605 N. Ellis St., it is owned by Mrs. Willie Mae Morris.
Two Texas governors have lived here, including Governors Hardin Runnels (1857-59) and S.W.T. Lanham (1903-07). Runnels owned a store on the square of Old Boston and died in 1873. Lanham taught school in Old Boston (1866-68) and was a member of the Masonic Lodge.
In March 1866, infamous desperado Cullen Baker got into an argument with several Union Soldiers while in Boston. A shootout began and he shot army sergeant Albert E. Titus, and was also shot in the arm himself. A $1,000 bounty was placed on Baker’s head. Bestselling author Louis L’Amour wrote a book about Baker called "The First Fast Draw."
The original land grants doled out were in Red River County and were platted out in "veras" (Spanish). The size of the grant settlers received depended on marital status and the number of children a family had. Collin McKinney (1766-1861), a politician, preacher, merchant and land surveyor, settled in the Boston area prior to moving near Dallas. Collin County and McKinney, Texas were named in his honor.