September 23, 2006


Founded as a shipping point on the Houston, East and West Texas Railway in 1885, the community was named for Tenehaw Municipality, the original name of Shelby County.

A post office was granted in 1886 and by 1890 the population was 200. By 1896 it was publishing it's own weekly newspaper and had become a major shipping center for lumber and produce. The population had increased to 680.

Lumber-manufacturing and a large canning operation bolstered the local economy through the 40s and 50s. Toledo Bend Reservoir and the fishermen that it attracts are now a permanent economic mainstay.

History from:

Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo, and Blair are communities in Shelby County whose names were appropriated for a plea by crapshooters for good luck when seeking to roll double fives. Similarly, dice throwers hoping for an "eight" would sing out, "Eighter from Decatur, the County Seat of Wise." Later the alliteration in the sing-song phrase "Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo, and Blair" helped a folk song recorded by Tex Ritter popular.

History from:
Tex Ritter went to grade school in Carthage, which is about an hour away from Tenaha.

Related: Walking through Timpson

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