Ore City, Texas

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Ore City is a city in Upshur County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,106 at the 2000 census.



Ore City is located at 32°48′3″N 94°43′3″W / 32.80083°N 94.7175°W / 32.80083; -94.7175 (32.800770, -94.717446)[3]. It is situated approximately 13 miles northeast of Gilmer at the junction of U.S. Highway 259 and FM 450.[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.3 square miles (5.9 km²), of which, 2.3 square miles (5.9 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.88%) is water.


Originally part of the William Murray League, the area was first settled in the early 1850s by a group from Haywood County, Tennessee.[5] They immediately started a church - "The Murray League Methodist Episcopal Church, South" as well as a school, the Murray League Institute. After the Civil War, rich iron ore deposits were discovered in the area and ore was mined sporadically from the 1860s through 1900.[4]

Around 1910, a commercial company led by Colonel L.P. Featherstone was formed to mine ore in the area. He persuaded the Santa Fe line to finance a rail link with Port Bolivar.[6] Land for a new city was purchased and platted into streets and lots around 1911. The town was given the name Ore City and a post office was established soon after. By 1914, thirty miles of the line known as the Port Bolivar Iron Ore Railway had been built, connecting Ore City with Longview. The newly-founded community had an estimated population of 400. Further construction on the railroad line was halted by the outbreak of World War I. Colonel Featherstone's company went into bankruptcy and the rail line was abandoned in 1927.[4] Ore City survived and by 1936, approximately 500 people lived in the community. During World War II, the federal government built a steel plant 10 miles north of Ore City to mine the same ore that previously brought Colonel Featherstone to the area. The plant was completed just as the war ended and was sold to a Texas group as surplus property. They operated it as the Lone Star Steel Company.[6]

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