Gainesville, Texas


2013 Best Small Towns in America

Contest ends:  September 3, 2013

9 Votes - "Most Patriotic"
1 Votes - "Friendliest"


Named after Edmund Pendleton Gaines, Gainesville is a town deeply rooted in its past with historic homes, traditional events and long standing educational institutions. The town is home to North Central Texas College and North Texas Medical Center and has the largest school system in its county. It most notably plays host to the Medal of Honor program, welcoming every recipient in the nation.

Gainesville’s derives historic relevance from World War II when it was home to Camp Howze, one of the largest replacement training centers. The local train station was used by the Amtrak Lone Star, which stopped operating in 1979. The station’s reopening in 1999 brought a renewed prosperity to the town. One of Gainesville's noteworthy events is the annual Depot Day. Every October the town celebrates railroad history with a car show, an art show, and other entertainment.

Visit the Morton Museum to get a glimpse into the town’s history. This building originally housed Gainesville's city hall, fire station, and jail. Now you can research genealogy or take a tour of the historic downtown and sites in the area including two theatres and a performing arts center.

Families will particularly enjoy Frank Buck Zoo. The zoo was originally on the grounds of the former Gainesville Community Circus, which helped bring tourism to the town in the 30s and 40s. The zoo’s current location is in Leonard Park. For more on 2012’s Most Patriotic Town, check out its reviews.

Being patriotic is about love of your country. Love of your home. When you embrace your community and all that it can offer, you are being the most patriotic person you can be. As a fairly new person to Gainesville, I am blown away and the “get it done” attitude and the ability to rally for any cause in our town. The most philanthropic and engaged community should go next to our most patriotic nomination!
Thank you Gainesville for embracing my family!
Reviewed by KellyFiore
on July 16, 2012
From our Medal of Honor celebration to our school's 6th grade flag team, there is a Texas-sized boatload of patriotism in Gainesville. Even when I thought we couldn't be more patriotic, a good 150 people came for the Texas-style wake-up call. This town never ceases to amaze me. Even our town's history is patriotic. When the Gainesville Community Circus was up and running from 1930 to the early 1960's, Gainesville was known as "Circus Town, U.S.A." and the circus brought smiles to many American faces. Nearby, from around 1942-1946, Camp Howze was where over 30,000 soldiers trained. Even in our history, Gainesville has been patriotic, in spirit and in how much red, white, and blue you saw.
Reviewed by YoungBeall
on July 16, 2012
Gainesville does not cut any corners when it comes to honoring those who gave their all for their country. What better way than to host the Medal of Honor recipients? This program teaches our children so much about bravery and valor and what it means to give the ultimate scarifice. If you have not been able to attend our parade for the Medal of Honor recipients I invite you to visit our town. I promise this will give you goose bumps as the planes and helicopters fly over while Gainesville welcomes our heros! Gainesville is proud to be THE MOST PATRIOTIC SMALL TOWN IN THE USA!
Reviewed by txsbrnrsd
on July 16, 2012
We are the most patriotic town in the USA. The Medal of Honor activities span several days. In addition to the banquets and parades, the MOH men go to the schools and talk to our kids. The event has grown over the years. Patriotism is just natually part of who we's a respect of country, town and people. We all didn't have to go to Walmart and buy flags for your visit..we already had them and they are displayed proudly. I display my flag year round. Our little town has a heart as big as Texas. What an honor it would be to win this contest!!
Reviewed by radioteacher
on July 16, 2012
You'd think being a local government beat reporter for years in a small town like Gainesville would leave one feeling somewhat jaded. After all, small towns have a reputation sometimes for being exclusive, out-of-touch, out-of-style, obsolete, and overly fond of "good-ol'-boy" favoritism. But I enjoyed working in Gainesville so much that I turned my initial goal of working there for a two-year stint into a five-year stay.
Now that I've been writing in the booming city of Austin, Texas, for about as long, I find myself missing the good life. Don't get me wrong: Austin has its small-town qualities, too, plus some big-city amenities you can't find in small towns. But there are many things I miss about Gainesville.
I miss the camaraderie found everywhere from a stop sign to a grocery store aisle.
I miss seeing families at the center of everyone's world.
I miss the slower-paced lifestyle and the reconsideration of life's priorities.
I miss being near everything (and a minutes-long commute).
I miss fish fries.
I miss hard-working people who are good with their hands.
I miss feeling like a part of something larger than self.
It's no wonder the people here fly the flag so proudly. They know what they have, and they're not afraid to tell you all about it ... or die defending it ... or serve those who have. Gainesville deserves the label "Most Patriotic Town."
No, the town isn't perfect. But visits to Gainesville keep me grounded in reality -- mindful of what life in America should be all about, and how communities should be about PEOPLE and not simply commerce and urban infrastructure.
Whether an unincorporated hamlet or a neighborhood inside a major metropolis, everyone should have a Gainesville to call home. (And if you don't, get with your neighbors and follow Gainesville's lead -- You've never truly lived in America until you have.)

Reviewed by creton4
on July 16, 2012
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