To preserve our hometown atmosphere, to serve the community through responsible government and provide a safe environment, which promotes, enhances and develops a higher quality of life for our citizens.
Garrett Burgess Griffin Royse, City Founder
Garrett Burgess Griffin Royse, better known as Byrd Royse, was born in Adair County, Kentucky on January 31, 1838, to William and Mary Stone Royse. He was the seventh of 14 children.
Mr. Royse was proud of the fact that he served the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He served with the 19th Regiment Missouri Infantry.
Around 1850, Mr. Royse’s future grandmother-in-law and her sons bought several tracts of land that were later to be known as Royse City. He married Mrs. McCasland’s granddaughter on August 8, 1880. They remained married until Mr. Royse’s death in 1928. Mrs. Nancy Royse died 7 years later.
Around 1886, Mr. Royse platted the town site and sold the first lot to Alf Reese and his nephew Albert Royse. About that same time, Mr. Royse was instrumental in getting the MK&T Railroad line brought from Greenville to Dallas through Rockwall County. Family legend has it that Mr. Royse informed the MK&T Railroad people that he would donate the land for a train station if they would call it Royse City.
After the lots were sold and land in and around Royse City were selling pretty high, the Royse family sold their part and, in 1893, joined about 100,000 others in the Oklahoma Land Rush. Mr. Royse got a quite of bit of land in Custer County near Foss, Oklahoma. Mr. Royse and his wife resided there until their death. They are both buried in the Stafford Cemetery near Foss.
The photo to the left was taken in the early 1920s in downtown Royse City. At the time, the modes of transportation were walking and horseback. As the cotton and sorghum industries grew, cars, trucks and other modes of modern transportation were introduced to Royse City. Most of the brick buildings that you see here are still in use today.
The building that currently houses the Zaner Robinson Historical Museum is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was approved for this designation in 1994. The Museum is located on the first floor and the Masonic Lodge is located on the second floor.