Lamasco, by Tom Hymer, Chairman, Fannin County Historical Commission
Lamasco was first termed a village by the Bonham News in 1888. In the first recorded account of the community, the News wrote:
Lamasco is situated 12 miles northeast of Bonham. It has one general store operated by Colen Magourick, one drug store, one steam mill, one saw mill and a shingle machine. Doctors include F.W. Owen, T. Irick and W.R. Carlisle. J.A. Irick and W.B. Irick are the blacksmiths of the village. Eli Wilson owns and operates the hotel. Church and school have Reverent J. B. Whittenburg, a Methodist minister. F.W. Owen is the postmaster.”
“The population is 75. The surrounding country is sandy prairie and forest, about equally divided. Vegetables, fruits, corn and cotton are grown. A few years ago there was no settlement where the town now is, but is now settling up very fast with industrious people. The gin owned by Irick ginned 500 bales of cotton this past season.”
Solomon Irick was a Lamasco merchant and farmer. He settled in the area about 1868 and opened a general merchandise store. Solomon was the son of Dr. Jack Irick and was married three times. His wives, Leonora, Fannie and Phoebe, are buried in separate cemeteries; Brown Cemetery, Center Grove Cemetery and Lamasco Cemetery.
Lamasco has been a community with interesting and prosperous people. The Colan McGouirk family settled in the Lamasco area in the 1870s. He traveled to Lamasco from Alabama in a wagon pulled by oxen. He caught wild horses for his first work team after he settled in Lamasco. In the early 1880s, Colan opened a general store in Lamasco. He had 19 children by different wives.
When Judge Horace W. Hunt died on June 22, 1934, on his farm near Lamasco, he was the oldest living native of Fannin County. He was born Dec. 14,1849, in Bonham, the son of Richard Salmon and Aurelia Rowe Hunt who came to Fannin County in the 1840s from New York state.
Richard Hunt published the Bonham Advertiser, the second newspaper published in Fannin County. A daughter, Alice, married Judge E.D. McClellan, the first judge of the Sixth district court. Their daughter married Judge H.A. Cunningham.
Horace Hunt married Miss Frances Irick in 1872. They drove to Indian Territory and were married in Fort Towson. They moved to Throckmorton County where they owned a ranch. Later, they moved to Montague County where he studied law and served as county attorney and county judge.
In 1912, he returned to Fannin County and settled on his farm, near Lamasco, where he farmed and practiced law.
The J.E. Hudson family began the Hudsonville Orphanage outside of Lamasco at the turn of the century. Thirty children lived there.
Anderson Danner, born in 1857, died in 1924, was a well-known citizen of Lamasco. He called the open skies his home and enjoyed living near the thicket where he often gathered wild food.
A July rainstorm was the greeting the John P. Helton family received on their arrival in Fannin County in 1903. They had ridden the train from Lebanon, Tenn. John was a veteran of the Confederate Army. He lived to be 98 years old on his Lamasco farm.
One Lamasco resident, Howard Anders, was listening to the radio Nov. 22,1963, when news flashed that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas. Anders became ill when he heard the news and died before neighbors could get him to a doctor.
Lamasco Lodge No. 348, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons was organized in 1871 at Tulip. The lodge met in Abercrombie’s store on Red River. W.H. McClendden was the Worshipful Master. The lodge moved to Lamasco in 1890. Later, the lodge moved to Telephone where it is now located.
The Texas Grand Lodge returns of 1908 show that Lamasco Lodge “meets on the Saturday night on or before the full moon of each month.” The post office address of the Lodge was Lamasco, R. F. D. No. 2.
Members of the lodge in 1908 were T.A. Bailey, J. W. Briley, G.E. Coker, J.W. Cooper, W.B. Cooper, B. H. Fogle, W.T. Hamilton, R.E. Hemphill, S.J. Hemphill, W.T. Tull, T.G. Jones, J.T. Kershner, J.W. Martin, G.H. Martin, J.S. Richards, S.W. Story, S. Steward, R.C. White, J.W. Wakefield, J.H. Whisenhunt, J.W. Cummings, J.E. Dupree, R.F. Griffis and S.M. Henry.
Dr. J. S. Williams of Lamasco was one of the most beloved doctors in Fannin County. During the “flu” epidemic in 1918, he never lost a patient. He was known for his success in removing skin cancers.
An excerpt from the Feb. 20, 1902 issue of a Bonham newspaper shows the life and pace of Lamasco:
“Professor Cockrell and Miss Pattie Smith of Carson passed through town going to Bonham Saturday.” “Election candidates are like the story of the young fellow talking about girls in the states, They are numerous and there are lots of them.”
“Jack Frost did not slight us and we are looking forward to his tater party.”
The Lamasco area was thickly populated in the early 1900s.
There were six schools; Post Oak, Danner, Center Grove, Carson, Dotson and Spoonamore, within five miles of Lamasco.
Ranches around Lamasco today are sites where wild deer, turkeys and hogs once roamed. Most of the pioneer houses are gone and water wells usually offer the only remembrance of old homesites. One old syrup mill, the type turned by a mule, is visible near Lamasco. It is a reminder of sugar cane that was once grown in the sandy soil and placed on tables as molasses.
A cemetery called “Pilgrim’s Rest” is on the north edge of Lamasco with only one marker left. To the west is the Center Grove Cemetery where many Lamasco settlers were buried. A few years ago a Bois d’ Arc slab marked a spot where a family of five were buried, “killed by Indians in 1838.”
(The material for this story was taken from “A History of Fannin County" by Mrs. Floy Crandall Hudge, and from "Folks and Facts" a history Fannin County published by the Bonham Public Library, and from "1908 proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Texas, A. F. & A. M.")