Alvord is on U.S. Highway 287/81 ten miles northeast of Decatur in northeast Wise County. Settlement began there in the early 1880s.
The community, originally called Nina, adopted its present name in 1882 in honor of the president of the Fort Worth and Denver Railway Company. A post office was established there in 1882. By the time the town was incorporated eight years later, it had become a prosperous retail center for area farmers.
In 1925 Alvord had 1,376 residents, a high school, an elementary school, four churches, and a weekly newspaper; the Burlington-Northern Railroad stopped there. The town was also the site of a Petroleum Company pumping station. The population of Alvord declined as the Great Depression reduced the number of nearby watermelon farms and livestock ranches. In 1940 the residents numbered 821 and the businesses thirty-five.
Twenty years later the population was 720, and the businesses had declined to nineteen. In 1990 Alvord had 865 residents and sixteen businesses. In 2000 the population was 1,007 with sixty-two businesses.