Corsicana, Texas

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Corsicana is a city in Navarro County, Texas, United States. It is located on Interstate 45 some fifty-five miles south of downtown Dallas. The population was 24,485 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Navarro County[4].

Contents

History

Founded in 1848, Corsicana was named by José Antonio Navarro after the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the birthplace of his father, who died when Navarro and his many siblings were young.[5][6]

Women's' groups have had a strong role throughout the history of the city, with one of the earliest efforts being the establishment of the Corsicana Female Literary Institute, a school which operated from 1857 through 1870. The first public library in Corsicana opened in 1901 by effort of the women's' clubs of the city. A 1905 library gift by Andrew Carnegie gave the library a permanent home and its first full-time, professionally trained librarian. The library today is housed in a dedicated building downtown and boasts more than 52,283 books, 6,306 audio materials, 783 video materials, and 122 serial subscriptions.[7]

The Corsicana Jewish community dates from 1871; while there are few Jewish residents of Corsicana today, the Historical Society has restored the 1898 Moorish Revival Temple Beth-El, Corsicana, now used as a community center.

The Corsicana YMCA was founded in 1884,[8] and has grown with patron funding facilitated by local community leaders over 125 years, including in its earliest days George Taylor Jester (1847–1922), a wealthy dry goods and cotton distributor, later banker and lieutenant governor of Texas.[9]

The Corsicana oil field was accidentally discovered in 1894 by water prospectors hired by the Corsicana Water Development authority. It was the first commercially significant oilfield find in Texas. An even larger oil field, the Powell oil field, was discovered in 1923, some ten miles east of Corsicana. Another significant area oil and gas find occurred in 1956. Each oil and gas discovery brought a renewed development boom to the city.

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