Quality of Life
Corsicana Offers Small Town Living on the
Outskirts of the Dallas Metro
Corsicana is a community where you can grow a business, pursue a meaningful career, and raise a family … all at the same time. Escape the high costs of living and operating a business in the big city, and experience — in Corsicana — how life and work intersect.
While driving south down Interstate 45 from Dallas, most travelers probably don’t know that Corsicana is home to the second largest planetarium in the state, to one of the nation’s premier Civil War museums, to a restored vaudeville theater, or to an interactive village dedicated to Navarro County history.
From the Cook Center Planetarium and the Pearce Museum Civil War & Western Art Collections, both located on the Navarro College campus, the renovated Palace Theatre in the historic downtown district, or Corsicana’s Pioneer Village in Community Park, Corsicana literally uses the past, present and future to engage its residents and attract visitors from across the state and around the world.
Most weekends, there is always something going on in Corsicana, from live music performances at the Corsicana Opry & Event Center, the Palace Theater, or the Remington, to theater performances in the Arts District, to fishing on Richland Chambers Lake, the third largest inland lake in Texas, there’s something for everyone. Corsicana’s Navarro College offers a wide variety of intercollegiate athletics matches and cultural events that broaden and enrich the quality of life in this historic Texas community located just 45 minutes south of downtown Dallas.
Corsicana has a rich and colorful history. In the early 1890s, the rapidly expanding City of Corsicana had outgrown its water supply, and the following year civic leaders formed the Corsicana Water Development Company with the aim of tapping a shallow artesian well in the area. Drilling began in the spring of 1894; but instead of water, the company hit a large pocket of oil and gas. The find, the first significant discovery of oil west of the Mississippi River, led to Texas' first oil boom. Within a short time nearly every lot in the town and in the surrounding area was under lease, and wells were being drilled within the city limits: five in 1896 and 57 the following year.
The first oil refinery in the state was built in Corsicana in 1897, and by 1898 there were 287 producing wells in the Corsicana field. The oil find attracted numerous oil men from the East, among them Edwy R. Brown, H.C. Folger, W.C. Proctor, C.N. Payne, and J.S. Cullinan, founder of the Cullinan Oil Company, which later evolved into the Magnolia Petroleum Company which, in turn, evolved into Mobil. In fact, Magnolia’s familiar red Pegasus logo has been the emblem of Mobil since the 1930s.
The oil business continued to form the mainstay of the town's economy. Huge oil profits fostered great wealth in Corsicana, and during the early 1950s there were said to be at least 21 millionaires in the town. In 1953, it was claimed to have the highest per capita income of any Texas city. The oil booms at the turn-of-the-century and again in the 1920s brought a variety of new citizens and commerce to town, and funded the construction of Corsicana’s historic commercial and residential properties. It was also during its oilfield heyday that two of Corsicana’s most famous food companies – Collin Street Bakery (in 1896) and Wolf Brand Chili (in 1895) – got their start.
Corsicana’s annual Derrick Days festival, held during the final week in April, celebrates this rich history.
While embracing its rich history, Corsicana has continued to evolve as authentic rural Texas community with an eye towards the future. Why is Corsicana such a great place to live, work and build a business? Here are just a few of the many reasons:
Low Cost of living. Living well is possible just about any place in the country. It’s simply a matter of how much money it takes to do so. In Corsicana, your money will go much farther than it will in more urban areas, and certainly much farther than it will in communities – urban or rural – located outside the state of Texas.
Available housing – In the Fall of 2015, construction will begin on a 282-acre mixed-use residential and retail development on the west side of Corsicana. The privately-funded development will include 240 apartment units, 132 duplex units and nearly 500 single-family homes priced in the $125,000 to $225,000 range. About 50-75 acres of the new development will be devoted to retail and commercial tenants. This new development will augment Corsicana’s existing housing stock, where the average price of an existing home is under $100,000.
Good schools. Providing a bright future for our children is important to all parents and Corsicana’s public and private schools provide an environment where scholarship and learning are nurtured.
Low crime rates. Peace of mind is an important ingredient to quality of life and Corsicana’s low crime rate makes it a family-friendly environment.
Recreation. Corsicana and Navarro County offer a wide assortment of inviting parks, lakes, athletics fields and lakes that cater to family-friendly recreational activities.
Navarro College & Texas A&M University-Commerce. Corsicana is home to Navarro College, one of Texas’ 52 community colleges, offers tailored workforce training programs, as well as adult education and a wide variety of personal growth classes. In addition to being able to earn a traditional associates degree, Navarro College, through its partnership with Texas A&M University-Commerce, offers the opportunity to earn bachelors and masters degrees while never leaving the Corsicana campus.
Historic Downtown Restoration. Corsicana’s historic downtown district has been experiencing a renaissance over the past five years, with more than 20 buildings undergoing extensive renovations and restoration during the past 5 years, usually stripping these old buildings down to the brick and replacing the electrical and plumbing, roofing, windows, as local private property owners invest their own money to ensure that Corsicana’s historic downtown district is available for future generations to enjoy. Instead of empty, crumbling old buildings, downtown Corsicana is now alive with a variety of restaurants, shops, live entertainment venues, a vibrant arts district, in addition to traditional downtown businesses like banks, law firms and furniture stores.
Arts & entertainment. Corsicana’s vibrant arts and entertainment history dates back more than 100 years, and continues to this day, with venues like the Palace Theater, Arts District, Corsicana Opry & Event Center, Pearce Museum, Cook Education Center Planetarium, Navarro College’s Theater Arts program, and more.
Restaurants & shopping. Corsicana’s location astride Interstate 45 opens it to a wider variety of retail brands than one would normally find in a community its size. Corsicana Crossing, located at the intersection of I-45 and US-287, boast a wide variety of national and regional retail brands.
Proximity to major population centers. Corsicana is located between four major population centers: Dallas-Fort Worth, with a population of 6.7 million, is just 50 miles north on Interstate 45; Houston, with a population of 6.2 million, is 187 miles southeast on Interstate 45; San Antonio, with a population of 2.2 million, is 250 miles southwest on Interstate 35; and Austin, with a population of 1.7 million, is just 150 miles southwest of Corsicana.
Small town quality of life on the outskirts of the 4th largest metro area in the U.S. Corsicana is close enough to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to take advantage of its extensive resources, while being just far enough away to also enjoy lower business operating and living costs. Corsicana is a community where you can grow a business, pursue a meaningful career, and raise a family … all at the same time. Escape the high costs of living and operating a business in the big city, and experience — in Corsicana — how life and work intersect.
If your business is looking at opening a new production facility, Corsicana offers just about everything a growing business would want or need. For more information, visit their economic development website.