By John Stowe
Trent, on Interstate Highway 20 twenty-three miles west of Abilene in northwestern Taylor County, was established in 1881 and served as a halfway station on the Texas and Pacific Railway between Texarkana and El Paso. It is 430 miles from each of these cities. When names were given to stations on the Texas and Pacific in 1881, the signboards for Eskota and Trent were interchanged by mistake: what is called Trent should have been named Eskota. Trent was named for I. R. Trent, who lived in Eskota and who continued to live there though a neighboring town bore his name.
The Trent post office began service in 1883 and was still in operation in 1990. In 1885 a tent school was opened at Trent, and later a one-room school was built on a site subsequently occupied by a Christian church. The tenth grade was added to the school in 1911, and at the close of that term the first diplomas were presented. The eleventh grade was added to the curriculum in 1915. A three-story brick school was finished in 1917, replacing the one-room school. In the 1980s the Trent school was unique among Texas schools for having the gorilla as its mascot.
The population of Trent was estimated as 1,200 in 1928, and from the 1930s through the early 1990s was reported at about 300. In the early 1990s Trent was an incorporated town with 320 residents and sixteen businesses. The population was 318 in 2000.
John Stowe, “Trent, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 11, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/trent-tx.
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Trent, Texas, June 9, 1940, H.E. Chelf, R.S. Plummer Photo, Texas & Pacific Railway Collection, Collection of The Grace Museum, Museum Purchase