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Gladewater is a town located in the eastern part of Texas, which many people call “East Texas”. The city of Gladewater is located in Gregg County—and a small part of the town is in Upshur County. Gladewater had 6,078 people as recorded in the 2000 United States census. Gladewater, Texas is famous as the official “base” for Elvis Presley. The late Johnny Cash, a famous country music singer, was in Gladewater when he wrote “Walk the Line”.
Gladewater, Texas is located at the intersection of highway 80 and highway 271. It’s 13 miles west of Longview, Texas. Longview, Texas is the closest “big city” to Gladewater, and many people from Gladewater usually go to Longview to do their major shopping.
Gladewater was founded by Texas and Pacific Railway Company in 1873—the company bought land from Anderson White and Jarrett Dean in order to establish the community. The 1st United States Post Office (USPS) in Gladewater was officially established on August 22, 1873. It’s said that the Gladewater name most likely came from its closeness to Glade Creek. Glade Creek is a stream that rose in a rather barren region called “the Glades”.
Gladewater’s population grew during the 19th century. Gladewater had 163 people in 1880 and 259 in 1900. Lumbering was generally the major activity in Gladewater, Texas, although farming was also important. Cotton was the major crop. In 1908, Gladewater had 10 stores, one bank, two blacksmith shops, two hotels, a gin, a sawmill, and a wood planing mill (because of the strong lumbering activity in the area). Gladewater continued to slowly grow in population until 1931.
On April 7, 1931, the first Gladewater oil well was established. In other words, someone stuck oil in Gladewater on April 7, 1931. This oil well located about one mile just outside of the town of Gladewater, right in the Sabine River bottom. Oil production in the area led to a population increase during the 1930s, from about 500 people to around 8,000 residents. In 1940, when the oil boom started to slow down, Gladewater, Texas had a population of 4,454 people. Between 1940 and 1960 the official population grew to 5,742 residents. Lake Gladewater was built in 1954, and, to this day, provides recreation for the city’s residents.
In 1955 Gladewater adopted a council-mayor type of government in order to bring order to the city.
During the 1970s, Gladewater changed from an oil-well oriented town to a more diversified economy, most likely due to the depletion of oil in the area. The oil wells began to get tapped out. By 1980 Gladewater had a total of 6,548 people--4,311 residents in Gregg County and 2,237 in Upshur County, Texas. Gladewater’s economy in the 1980s depended on the oil industry, as well as other activities. It also relied on the manufacture of furniture, clothing, paper products, and boats. The lumber and timber industry (East Texas is known for its large pine trees) is also important, as is the agriculture industry. In 1990, Gladewater, Texas became known for its antique stores. The population of Gladewater, Texas was 6,027 in 1990.
Useful Information for Gladewater, Texas:
City of Gladewater Police Department
511 S Tyler Street
Longview, TX 75647
main (903) 845-2166
24 hour emergency only: (903) 845-2166
Gladewater City Hall
519 E. Broadway
P.O. Box 1725
Gladewater, Texas 75647
(903) 845-6891 fax