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Trip Planner USA  /  Texas  /  Decatur

Decatur

4.9
Specialty Museums · Wildlife Areas
Decatur is a city located in Wise County, Texas, United States. It is the county seat.Decatur is part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex and is located 25 miles northwest of Fort Worth and 45 miles northwest of Dallas.The population was 6,042 at the 2010 census.HistoryWise County was established in 1856, and Taylorsville was made the county seat.Absalom Bishop, an early settler and member of the Texas Legislature, opposed naming the town after a Whig Party member, and in 1858 arranged to have the name changed to Decatur, in honor of naval hero Stephen Decatur.In 1857, a post office was opened, and the first school was established in 1857. In the early 1860s, a courthouse was erected.Civil WarEarly settlers to northern Texas came from a variety of eastern states, and only about half came from the "deep south". As a result, some sympathized with the Unionist side during the Civil War, and violent acts against them were common. One such act occurred in October 1862, when several Unionist sympathizers were arrested and taken to nearby Gainesville for trial on charges of treason and insurrection. Seven of those arrested were hanged, and 14 more were hanged without trial. A few weeks later, more suspected Unionist supporters were hanged without trial in several north Texas communities, including 5 hanged in Decatur. The "Great Hanging at Gainesville" may have been the largest single incident of vigilante violence in U.S. history.
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