Additional information about Ladonia is on our Ladonia page.
Settled about 1840 by James McFarland and Daniel Davis, this community was first called McCownville after early settler Frank McCown, the town's first merchant. James H. Cole, a carpenter who moved to the county in 1855, planned and staked out the town site and included wide streets. According to local legend McCown changed the town name in 1857 to honor Ladonna Millsay, a traveler on a wagon train from Tennessee who entertained residents with her singing. By 1858 the settlement had a post office named Ladonia.
The town grew rapidly after 1860 because of its fertile farming area. The community incorporated in 1885 and had a population of 700, two cotton gins, a bank, a flour mill a school, and several churches. The arrival of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway in 1887 made Ladonia an agricultural marketing town for cotton, corn, oats and wheat and resulted in a business boom. The population had increased to 2,000 by 1897 and the town included 100 businesses.
The town declined slowly as agricultural goods were shipped over improved roads and citizens moved to larger cities. By 1936 Ladonia had 1,119 citizens and 39 businesses. By 1990 the population was 658.
Location: On the square in Ladonia.