Detroit, Texas is located just inside the western edge of Red River County on U. S. Highway 82 at the intersection of FM 410 which runs north and south through town. In 1873 the Texas and Pacific Railroad was plotted through the area. At that time there was no Detroit, the nearest settlement known as Bennet was located about two miles Southwest. The railroad plotted a town site next to the tracks. On May 23, 1887, the name of the town was changed to Detroit by the local railroad agent who renamed it after his hometown in Michigan. By 1897, Detroit was the rail head for a vast area stretching from Southeastern Oklahoma on the North to Sulphur River on the South. In 1897, there were three medical doctors, and one dentist. The Detroit Herald was published by John Custer. The railroad brought about 40 years of steady growth and by 1910 its population had reached 1,200, according to Texas Historical Society records. The era of the rail traffic has since gone by the way, the rails and tracks were removed in 1996. The 2000 census showed Detroit with a population of 776.
Detroit is proud of its independent school district. Its elementary campus on the south side of town consists of grades Kindergarten through grade five as well as classes for Head-Start for children age three and four. The High School and Junior High campus is located on the north side of town on FM 410. Construction is to begin soon on a new addition of a Fine Arts/Gymnasium Building.
Detroit is home to a Masonic Lodge, as well as a very active Lion’s Club which was responsible for the renovation of the 100 year old tabernacle which is located on East Garner Street next door to the City Hall. In earlier days the tabernacle was the meeting place for revival meetings in the summer and is presently used for that as well as other community activities.
Being located approximately half way between Clarksville and Paris, Detroit is a convenient location for a family in which one parent works in Paris and the other one works in Clarksville.
Information provided by Betty Wright
August 17, 2009