Promoters Alexander Douglas, Thomas Weatherby, and Mitus White platted the townsite of Canton in 1850 near the junction of two main roads, one leading to the county seat at Tyler. Although the post office was renamed Clopton in 1852 and the name was changed to Troup in 1854, the village continued to be known as Canton for many years. The first store opened in 1852 and soon the community had a tanyard, blacksmith shop, cabinet and wagon shop, hotel, school, several doctors, churches, and a Masonic Lodge. The 1860 census showed 34 households in the town.
When the International & Great Northern Railroad bypassed Canton in the 1870s, many businesses moved away. In 1880 the town and post office adopted the name Omen. For 30 years, Omen was the location of the Summer Hill Select School, a coeducational boarding school directed by A. W. Orr (1849-1924) of Georgia. This highly-regarded institution drew students from all parts of Texas as well as from out of state.
The closing of the post office in 1906 and the school hastened Omen's decline. Oil discoveries during the 1930s revived the community briefly, but with the depression the population dwindled further and Omen became a rural village.