Lakes Trail Region


Gainesville originally consisted of three families living in log houses near Elm Creek, hardly predictive of the thriving community seen today. An offer to grant 640 acres to each head of family and 320 to each single man attracted a few more settlers. Despite the humble beginnings the community experienced its first boom complements of the growing cattle industry. Gainesville’s proximity to the Oklahoma border and a Red River crossing, a short seven miles north, established the community as a supply point for cowboys driving herds northward to Kansas. Soon, a post office, businesses, churches, a school, and a weekly newspaper put Gainesville on the map. Then, the arrival of the railroad, first the Santa Fe then the Gainesville, Henrietta, and Western really kicked things into gear. By the 1880’s, local banks including the Gainesville National, the Lindsay National, and the Red River Bank held high-dollar deposits by cattle barons all over North Texas. A steady business acumen continued to serve the community, helping Gainesville to survive the cattle drive bust at the end of the 19th century and the Great Depression in the 20th. Today, Gainesville industries list energy, airline, equine, and agricultural manufacturing as key components in a prosperous business environment. The city also sponsors annual events including the Medal of Honor Celebration, Summer Sounds Concerts, Morton Museum’s Ghost Event, and Holiday on the Square. It’s no surprise that this city with its restored historic downtown is recognized throughout the Texas Lakes Trail region as “The Star of North Texas”.

Watch the following video to learn more about Gainesville's historic downtown. This video was produced for inclusion in the Town Square Walk Around mobile tour.