WELCOME TO OVERTON
|Designated Lone Star City
City Hall (903) 834 -3171 or (903) 834 -3172 Voice
Police Department (903) 834 - 3145 Voice (903) 834 - 3174 Fax
The City of Overton, Texas located both in Rusk and Smith counties. Overton lies approximately 10 miles south of Kilgore (25 miles south of Longview), 15 miles west of Henderson and 20 miles southeast of Tyler.
Overton City Wide Clean Up Day; Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m at City Hall.
History of Overton
The town was named after Major Frank Overton, an early settler and
landowner who donated some of his land for the town site. It was platted
in 1873 and a post office was granted that year.
Overton was originally intended to be a crossroads for two railroads.
In 1875 the Henderson and Overton Branch Railroad, 16 miles long, was
completed and was later joined by the International-Great Northern.
When the nearby communities of Belleveu, Jamestown, Rocky Mount, and
Salem were all bypassed by the railroad, Overton gained the businesses
and people who wanted to benefit from the railroad lines. The town
offered lots for businesses to relocate and many took the offer.
The Masons and Odd Fellows
built the first school and a church was constructed in 1875. By 1888
the population had increased to 500 and had all essential businesses,
including a newspaper. Overton prospered as an agricultural community
and in 1904 the population had reached 568.
Oklahoman wildcatter C. M. (Dad) Joiner
was drilling his third well in 1930 and the town of Overton helped
raise the funds he needed to drill. When the well came in Overton,
shared in Joiner's success, as churches, schools, and a refinery were
built. Hubbard College was founded during this time as well. The town's
once agrarian-based economy suddenly revolved entirely around the
production of oil.
Overton's population exploded from 426 in 1931 to 3,000 in 1933. By
1936 it was up to 4,500 and the town went through the Great Depression
relatively unscathed. But by the end of World War II
the population had declined by half - reaching just 2,000 in the 1950s
and remaining at that level through the 1970s. In the 1980s Overton was
Rusk County's "second city" with a population of 2,430 in 1983. By the
1990s Overton extended into neighboring Smith County.