Information transcribed from "The Southland" Vol. XII. No 1, Waco, Texas; established March, 1892. Furnished by Sibyl Creasey.
In the great variety of resources to be found in Van Zandt County, is its minerals. Grand Saline is the seat of the great salt industry. Before the location of the town which really was in 1873 it was chiefly noted for the Saline Prairie there, which had been the scene of varying activity for many years. John Jordan and Allen McGee lived there in the early years and was known as a firm Jordan and McGee. They had no doubt some kind of claim or title to property, hence the place was called Jordan Saline and when the county was organized in the spring of 1848, this point was selected as the county capital and remained so for about two years, when it was removed to Canton, its present site. The land on which Grand Saline stands was patented to Sam Bell in 1854, it then came into regular possession of Jordan and McGee then to Frederick Ham and in February, 1859 Sam Q. Richardson purchased it and moved on it. Salt was manufactured by the Indians years before is came into possession of white men, this information we have reliabel (sic) from Dr. Allen, who has indisputable evidence of the fact; moreover, salt had been manufactured in a crude way all along the years. After Mr. Richardson became the owner, the volume of manufacture, as well as the methods was enlarged and improved. During the Civil War it was a great blessing to the people far and wide and was a source of considerable revenue to Mr. Richardson. To be sure the volume of business was nothing at all comparable to what it is now and the methods were crude indeed, but they made salt in abundance and supplied a large demand and obtained good prices for it. The Grand Saline Salt Works, a commodious and well equipped salt plant is immediately resultant from the Richardson estate. There are two other splendid salt plants in the city, and many car loads of salt are shipped daily. But the capacity for manufacture is very great, and under favorable conditions would of course be accomplished.
In 1873 the well known Texas & Pacific system of railroads reached the county and the town was located here and the name changed from Jordan Saline to Grand Saline. In its early history there were some hindrances to its greater growth, but these obstacles being removed, it has enjoyed a good degree of prosperity and a greater growth.
It has a population of about 2000. It is compactly and well built in brick. It has an average number of churches, a large and growing school and are soon to erect a new and commodious school building. It has a goodly number of elegant homes. It has a gin, a bank, bottling works, an excellent and wide awake newspaper, The Grand Saline Sun, a splendid lumber yard, operated by our genial friend, Mr. J. E. Persons, with a full variety of other lines, dry goods, groceries, drugs, hardware, furniture, restaurants and hotels. It has two railroads, the T. & P. and Texas Short Line. About one mile distant is a thrifty and growing suburb, Rhodesburg, it has a large and growing school community, and is occupied by a quiet and thrifty citizenship. Mr. D. D. Richardson has a commercial establishment there with a growing business, also a lake, bath house, etc. This suburb is noted for its excellent drinking water, and for a fine quality of soil for truck grown and light farming. The country around about is fast settling up, prices are increasing and everything is boyant (sic) and attractive.
(Transcriber's note: the building linked from this Biography is still standing and is still in use as of July, 1999.)