The earliest named settlement near what would later become Purdon was a community called Belle Point. It was originally settled by Captain J.A. Harrison. In the early 1880s, the St. Louis Southwestern Railway (also known as the "Cotton Belt") was built two miles south of Belle Point and lots were soon platted around the rail stop. The new community was named Purdon. Credit for the name is given to a railroad man named Harris, who was attracted to a cashier where he brought supplies – Miss Ada Purdom. By an inadvertent spelling mistake at the general office, the town became Purdon. A post office was established in 1881. Purdon became a thriving community with most of the black land in the area used to raise cotton, corn, and other feed grains. By 1896, approximately 80 people lived in the community. In 1912, a new two-story brick school was completed. According to 1920 Census figures, Purdon had a population of 346. With the coming of school buses in 1928, Belle Point, Jester, and Silver City schools were consolidated with Purdon. The population began to steadily decline, falling to 30 in 1930, and 262 by 1940. The decline accelerated after World War II, when many residents left he area in search of greater job opportunities in larger cities. Purdon's school was consolidated with nearby Dawson in the fall of 1959. As of 1960, Purdon recorded 151 inhabitants, less than half of the population at its peak in 1920. During the remainder of the twentieth century, the population hovered around 133. Today, most residents travel to either Corsicana or Dawson for groceries, banking, doctors, and employment.
Although Purdon is unincorporated, it has a post office, with the ZIP code of 76679.