Lindale, Texas

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Lindale is a city in Smith County, Texas, United States. The town had an estimated population of 5,024 in 2006. It is part of the Tyler, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

The area of Smith County where Lindale sits was inhabited long before the town was founded in 1871. In the early 19th century, the Caddo Indians were the area's prime inhabitants; their artifacts can still be found along streams in the area. The area also was home to Cherokee Indians, who were forced out when the Republic of Texas was founded in 1836.

After the Civil War, Richard B. Hubbard, a former officer in the Confederate Army and owner of a large plantation on what is today a gated community called Hide-A-Way Lake, began searching for a more convenient way to ship the produce grown on his land. Hubbard convinced railroad officials to lay track between nearby Tyler and Mineola. Hubbard's brother-in-law, Elijah Lindsey, anticipating growth around the new railroad, opened the fledgling community's first general store in 1871, and Lindale had its start; Lindsey was elected the town's first mayor a year later.

Several stories abound locally about how Lindale got its name, but the most common is that Lindsey's name was combined with the suffix "dale" to form "Lindseydale." The name was shortened to Lindale in 1874 when the first Post Office opened in town.

A year later, the International-Great Northern Railroad extended its line through Lindale, and the town's fledgling canning and fruit packing industries took off. By the late 1880s, some 300 people lived in the town, which was gaining fame for its fruit and berry canning industry.

By 1900, the city had its own newspaper, two cotton gins, several shops, churches, a telephone exchange, a doctor and lawyer, as well as the ubiquitous canning factory. In 1905, the town was incorporated; it spanned about a square mile in total.

Produce continued to be the city's main source of income, and by 1950 the town had gained a reputation for being the "blackberry capital of the world," with tons of berries being canned and shipped each year.

Present day

Lindale's produce trade has declined significantly over the past two decades, with the closure of its canning factory, allowing other industries to grow, including cattle, hay production, and rose-growing. Several non-profit religious ministries (including Teen Mania Ministries, Mercy Ships, Keith Green and his Last Days Ministries, Youth With A Mission, and David Wilkerson and his Teen Challenge and World Challenge ministries) either are or were located near Lindale.

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