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Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Cherokee County, Texas


Page Contents for Alto, Texas

Statistics & Facts


History & History-related items

City Attractions



Statistics & Facts

The Texas state capital is Austin.
The population of Alto is approximately 1,053 (2000), 1225 (2010).
The approximate number of families is 486 (1990), 470 (2010).
The amount of land area in Alto is 4.152 sq. kilometers.
The amount of surface water is 0 sq kilometers.
The distance from Alto to Washington DC is 1166 miles.
The distance to the Texas state capital is 185 miles. (as the crow flies)
Alto is positioned 31.65 degrees north of the equator and 95.07 degrees west of the prime meridian.
Alto elevation is 490 feet above sea level.


eleven miles south of Rusk and southeast of Dallas between Palestine and Nacogdoches
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History & History Related Items

The name of Alto comes from the Spanish word for high. The area is the highest point between the Angeline and Neches Rivers.

Alto was first known as Branchtown in its early years. It was founded about 1849 by Robert F. Mitchell who gained the land by winning a lawsuit. It was once part of a large land grant to William Barr and Samuel Davenport. The first post office opened in 1850 with the name of Branchtown, but by 1852, it was renamed Alto as suggested by Henry Berryman. The community quickly grew because of its good location on the Old San Antonio Road. By 1885, there were many businesses along with a school, a sawmill and a church. The town was incorporated in 1909. The community was hurt by the Great Depression of the 1930's and has continued to lose population since that time.
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The area is well-known for its tomato growing!

Ross's Steel Yard & Antiques
Located 4 miles West of Alto on Hwy. 21 Ross's Steel Yard has been an attraction for the city of Alto for over 40 years. The owner is R.J.Ross,and he started his business over 40 years ago by selling hubcaps. His business grew intoAntiques, and many other interesting items. People come from all over the world to visit the "Biggest Little Junk Yard in Texas". Ross later moved into Sawmill parts, where his clientele grew even bigger. R.J. Ross is married and has six children and is an upstanding citizen in the Alto community. If you visit the country town of Alto, you must stop by and talk to Ross. He won't be hard to find for he will be the man wearing the smile. Ross has made friends all over the world and has been photographed in some of the world's major magazine, including Texas Monthly.

Caddoan Mounds State Historic Site
RR 2 Box 85C
Alto TX 75925
Phone: 936-858-3218
This is a 93.8-acre park which includes two temple mounds, a burial mound and a village area from about 500 A.D.

Davy Crockett National Forest is located about six miles from Alto.
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Economy & Industry

Cattle ranching, oil, gas, and lumber are the mainstays of the local economy.
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The population of Alto was:
1885 - 600
1929 - 1,600
1965 - 1,500
1990 - 1,027
2000 - 1,053

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