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History of Fairdale – Sabine County, Texas

The pioneer community which later became known as Fairdale was one of the early settlements in the lower southeastern part of Sabine County, with roots beginning on October 13, 1835, when A. W. Canfield received a league of land from the Mexican government. Listed below are the names of some of the first pioneers who came to this area with some perhaps as early as 1835.

  • T. W. Burr
  • Charlie L. Love
  • A. H. Martin
  • Levi McDaniel
  • Mack McGraw
  • Henry Dainwood
  • R. H. Sims
  • Gilbert Morris
  • L. L. Hill
  • W. W. McDaniel, Sr.
  • R. W. Sibley
  • Sam McDaniel
  • W. M. Mitchell
  • Andrew Dainwood
  • Henry Smith
  • Turner Pulliam

During the middle years of the life of this community, there were at least three retail stores in Fairdale at one time, with ownerships changing as time passed. The names of these merchants are shown below:

  • T. W. Burr
  • Ed Williams
  • Lee McDaniel
  • Joe McGee
  • Clyde McGraw
  • Fabian McCree
  • Lafayette McDaniel
  • Mr. Mars
  • Elijah McNaughten
  • Ernest Smith

H. L. Dainwood and Charlie L. Love, perhaps, built the first sawmill at Fairdale. The machinery for the mill came down the Sabine River on the steamboat, Neches Belle, off-loaded at Hickory Bluff, and then hauled to Fairdale by ox wagon.

Other later operators of the sawmill were a Mr. Hart, Tom and Therry McGraw, Frank N. Broach, and Levi McDaniel.

A United States Post Office was first established at Fairdale on July 3, 1902 with Cornelius F. Smith as the first postmaster.

Records of the Post Office Department show that a post office was formed in Sabine County with the name of Oakdale on December 24, 1897, but was discontinued a few years later. Oakdale was perhaps the former name of Fairdale, and the name change was required because there was another post office in Texas bearing the same name. This type of event occurred on more than one occasion.

In addition to the retail stores previously listed, the community had a church, a school, a cotton gin (operated at one time by Lod Hill), and a gristmill.

A school district was formed to include Fairdale by the Sabine County Commissioners Court on July 11, 1904. However, “free community schools” were established by the state prior to that time, and it is likely that other schools preceded the formation of this school district.

A voting precinct was established on February 23, 1903.

The last store in the immediate area of Fairdale (owned by Ernest Smith) closed in 1959, and in 1968 most of the old community was inundated by the waters of Toledo Bend Lake. Thus the history of this lost community now resides primarily in the hearts and memories of the descendents of these early settlers.

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