Mineola came into existence when the railroads built lines through the Eastern part of the state. In 1873 the Texas and Pacific and the International-Great Northern raced to see which could get to Mineola first. The I-GN reached the finish fifteen minutes earlier. A city government was organized in 1873, a post office opened in 1875, and the town incorporated in 1877, but a fire in the 1880s destroyed eighteen buildings. The town’s oldest paper, the Mineola Monitor, was founded in 1876.