HUGHES SPRINGS, TEXAS

Hughes Springs, Texas is located about a mile from the Morris county line in southwestern Cass County. In 1839, Reese Hughes built the first cabin in the area near three mineral springs. The area and the springs soon came to be known as Hughes Springs. Locals quickly realized the area had rich iron-ore deposits. During the 1850s, a furnace was constructed and confiscated by the Confederate government  during the Civil War. After the war the furnace was closed because there was no coal in the area. By 1870, ore deposits were being used in Jefferson. A post office in the area operated for about two years, and an official post office was granted in 1878. In 1887, the East Line and Red River Railroad was built through the southwestern corner of the county and Hughes Springs became a station on the line. The mineral springs in the community were an attraction, considered to be medicinal, making the community a popular health resort. By the 1880s, Hemphill had saw and grist mills, cotton gins, churches, a school, with a population of about 300. By the 1920s, Hughes Springs had lost its popularity as a health resort, but remained a shipping and supply point for farmers. In 1925, a sweet-potato curing plant opened, handling about 25,000 bushels a year. During World War II, the Lone Star Steel Plant opened ten miles away in Morris County. The nearby steel mill had a big impact on the town, and brought several collateral industries into the area.