When Butterfield Overland Mail traversed this area (1858-61) on St. Louis to San Francisco route, a crossing over West Fork of the Trinity was a necessity. Colonel W. H. Hunt on February 11, 1860, obtained a charter and built a toll bridge here (50 yards west). The Overland Mail ceased operating as Civil War began. The bridge soon collapsed. However, a settlement had begun here, and in 1873 Charles Cates, a Decatur merchant, spanned the river with an iron bridge. When the Rock Island Railroad built to this point in 1893, the town moved but retained its historic name.