Investment Monitor

From sleepy Southern town to key manufacturing hub, Texarkana Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) offers a host of unique benefits for companies.

Comprised of Bowie County, Texas, Little River County, Arkansas and Miller County, Arkansas, the Texarkana Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is anchored by the twin cities of Texarkana, founded on both sides of the state line in 1873. Thanks to its unique position, the area has a dynamic character and rich industrial fabric. Yet its story from sleepy Southern town to key manufacturing hub starts out the same as many a city established across the country in that era: with the railroad.

While settlers had been present in the area for years prior to Texarkana’s official founding, it was the construction of the Texas and Pacific (T&P) railroad that put the land on track to become the city it is today. Construction began in the summer of 1873, when T&P decided to join its eastbound line out of Dallas with Cairo & Fulton’s westbound line out of Arkansas on the Texas-Arkansas state line.

In early December, news started to spread that T&P would soon be selling lots, and men from all over the region camped out at the site to be there for the event. On December 7, at 9am, a special agent from T&P opened the sale, using the top of a tree stump for a desk. Lots were laid out on the city plat and sold for $300, with corner lots going for $350.

The first of the corner lots was sold to Anthony L Ghio, who arrived in the area that day. As soon as the sale adjourned for lunch, Ghio let a contract for a structure on his land, with plans to open a store in Texarkana. This store was the first of many commercial properties for the prosperous Italian, who became city mayor in 1880.

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