above: downtown Itasca, Texas
below: Itasca Cemetery
Itasca is a small railroad town in Hill County, Texas that was settled in the 1880's. Its growth was fueled by the surrounding fertile soil which was perfect for growing cotton, and cotton was the main attraction for the many families of Itawamba County who left Mississippi for Texas and the promise of new prosperity. It is really amazing the number of my ancestral families who were part of that migration to Hill County, and neighboring Johnson County - Robinson, Evans, Young, Bishop, Emerson and others.
When the cotton mill closed in 1962 after sixty years of operation, the town of Itasca began its decline, and today has a population of around 1,500 people.
Itasca Cemetery, located across the railroad tracks, has over 4,000 graves, and its markers contain names of former citizens of Itawamba County, as well as Marion and Lamar counties of Alabama. Many thanks and much appreciation to my husband for his patience while I explored this cemetery searching for familiar names.
Cindy Lou's Homecookin' Cafe is well worth the ten mile drive from Interstate 35, and while in Itasca you can drop by to say howdy and lay some flowers on the graves of some Itawamba connections in the cemetery. Be sure to take a lot of flowers though!