Historic Fate

Historic Fate

The original town of Fate was settled shortly after the Civil War and located one-and­-a-half miles to the north of its current location. In 1880, one of the town's leading citizens, William Lafayette Brown petitioned the U.S. government for a post office. He proposed calling the area Brown Springs. Because there was already a Brownsville, Texas post office, his wife suggested calling the area Fate, Lafayette's nickname. The Fate post office was established on July 13, 1880.

William Lafayette Brown (1835-1903), became Sheriff of Rockwall County from December 1886 until November 1892. 

As the legend goes, there was another resident and land owner named Lafayette Payton, who also went by the name “Fate.” Questions regarding which former resident named the city have been debated. Very little history is known of Lafayette Payton. 

According to a 1976 city document bearing the names of city officials, "there is considerable agreement that the town was named for William Lafayette Brown." 

The current city of Fate was once, the city of Barnes. Fate had a post office, and Barnes had the M.K. and T. Railroad. To live near both a post office and a railroad in those days was important. On February 11, 1887 the two towns combined and the residents of Fate moved toward the railroad which still runs through the middle of town today. 


Below is a video recorded during a Brown Bag Luncheon hosted by the Rockwall County Historical Foundation in February, 2005 of the "Fate Girls" giving a talk about Fate's history. 

William Lafayette Brown

William Lafayette Brown

1950 Downtown Fate - Aerial Photograph

1950 Downtown Fate Aerial
  1. L.H. Harris' Farmer's Gin
  2. Home of Arnold Cannon
  3. Luther Cannon's Store and Service Station
  4. Posey's Home and "Posy's Place" Restaurant
  5. Home of Bob Harper
  6. The Fred Mercer House "No One Inn"
  7. MK&T Railroad Dept
  8. The Crawford Home
  9. The Leonard Home and Barn
  10. Cliff Peek's Home
  11. Robert Burton's Home
  12. C.D. Boren's Home
  13. C.L. Cox's Blacksmith Shop
  14. The Clodfelter Home 
  15. Fate's Downtown Area
  16. Willie Edward's Home
  17. Eli "Mule" Portley's Home
  18. C.W. Holt's Home
  19. W.A. Grisham's Home (moved from their farm north of Fate)
  20. Justice of the Peace Office
  21. Carl Leonard, Jr. - Garage and home

Businesses and Churches in Fate

The People of Fate

Historic School Books