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Stephen F. Austin State University

Arcadia, Texas

Voices from Small Places

Located in Shelby County in deep East Texas, Arcadia was once a thriving town serving the surrounding area (see maps below). Founded in 1887, at its peak Arcadia had a population of approximately 400 and a diverse commercial district, including multiple business, mills, schools, and churches. Following the Second World War many left the area for jobs elsewhere leading to a gradual population decline. The last surviving business closed its doors in 1985, and today Arcadia has population of fifty-one, primarily made up of descendants of the original founding families.