First settlers—families of Andrew Agnew, Isaac Agnew, Fletcher Fields, David McKinley, Allis Smith and W.W. Smith—arrived in a wagon train from Gregg County, Jan. 6, 1876. Area was known for hardships: Indian raids, vigilante activities, gunfights. But a stable community developed around log school-church building erected in 1876. First store was founded about 1879 by Thomas W. Anderson and son William.
Post office established 1880. The most creditable story as to how the town gots its name is that the settlers suggested the name Star for the post office but it was rejected by the U.S. postal authorities as another Texas town had that name. The settlers argued all night over the name selection, looked up and saw the morning star as they started home from their meeting and agreed to call it Rising Star.
The city was first incorporated in 1891, in a 1905 election. There was a vote to dissolve the corporation but the charter was restored later the same year.
Rising Star is the home of Texas (1939-1941) poet laureate Lexie Dean Robertson. Unique local structure is city hall built of stone from buried petrified forest.
Economy is based on ranching, farming (a chief crop is Spanish peanuts), commercial pecans, industry, oil.