Location of Goree, Texas
Goree is a city in Knox County, Texas. The population was 203 at the 2010 census, down from 321 at the 2000 census. A July 1, 2013 U.S. Census Bureau estimate placed the population at 207.
Settlers first arrived in the area around 1886. By 1887, a settlement was centered around a store and post office built by Bill Benedict. Originally known as Riley Springs, the community was renamed Goree after Robert D. Goree, a Confederate veteran and Knox County pioneer. Benedict's store was bought by J.W. McLendon in 1890 and moved it with its post office to a new site that became known as North Goree. A school was built near the relocated store in 1901. In 1904, North Goree was renamed Hefner.
At its president-day location, the first plans for a new community began in 1905 with the announcement that the Wichita Valley Railroad would be built through the area. 1906 was an important year in Goree's history as the railroad arrived, homes and businesses were erected, and the community became an incorporated municipality. The school relocated from the Hefner location to Goree in 1906 as well and was renamed Chigger Hill School.
Goree had a population of 614 in 1920, but that figure had fallen to 425 by 1940. The number of residents rose to 640 in 1950, but declined throughout the remainder of the twentieth century.
Goree is the site of the annual Bobby Boatright Memorial Music Camp, an event for aspiring Western Swing musicians of all ages to hone and showcase their musical talents. The camp is named for the late Bobby Boatright, Western Swing musician, who was chief fiddle instructor before his death in 2008. The camp was profiled in a story that aired on July 21, 2010 on National Public Radio's Morning Edition program.