Jasper County, Texas
The Texas Almanac reports that Jasper County was created in 1836, organized in 1837 from an old Spanish municipality named "Bevil," an original county; and was named Jasper County for Sgt. William Jasper, a hero of the American Revolution. Jasper, Texas, is the County Seat. Census Records are available for 1850-1880. Deed Records go back to 1849, and there are a few marriages back to 1849. There are recorded several Death Records as early as 1908.
[Texas State Genealogical Society. "Stirpes", Volume 2, Number 2, June 1962, who accumulated the information from the county Clerks of each county, as well as the Texas Almanac, 1961-62, Dallas, Tex.: A.H. Belo corp. 1961]
One of the earliest white settlers was John R. Bevil, who moved to Texas before 1829 and received a first-class land grant on the Angelina River near the site of present Jasper. Bevil's settlement became known as Bevilport and was an important river-navigation point from 1830 until 1860. In 1829 Lorenzo de Zavala obtained a Mexican empresarial grant covering most of what is now Jasper County. During the Texas Revolution volunteers from Bevilport joined other Texans in confrontations with Mexican troops at Anahuac, Bexar, and Nacogdoches.
Jasper County was established when the Convention of 1836 converted old municipalities into counties, but it was not until 1837 that an act was passed defining the county boundaries. The town of Jasper was named county seat by the county commissioners in 1836 and grew around a log courthouse and jail built on the main square. In 1846 the original Jasper County was split into two parts; the eastern portion became Newton County. In 1847 Andrew Smyth built a sawmill near Bevilport, using the swift current of Indian Creek for power. After a fire destroyed the Jasper County Courthouse and all county records in 1849, a new two-story structure was quickly constructed.
In the 1860 presidential election a substantial majority of Jasper County voters chose John Breckinridge, a Southern Democrat, over Constitutional Unionist John Bell. Meetings to discuss secession were held throughout the county, and in early 1861 the county's voters chose secession by a margin of 318 to 25. A Jasper County resident, Dr. William Neyland, was appointed brigadier general of the Second Brigade of Texas State Troops and placed in charge of recruiting for the Confederacy in Jefferson, Orange, Newton, Tyler, Liberty, Hardin, Polk, Chambers, and Jasper counties. One of the first companies to be organized in Jasper County was Company C of the Twenty-fifth Texas Dismounted Cavalry. In 1862 Company E of the Lone Star Rifles was mustered into service in Jasper. The Confederate government in Texas collapsed in the summer of 1865, and Union troops arrived in Jasper County the following year.
[Excerpted from Glenn Justice, "JASPER COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.]
Cities and Towns
* Brookeland * Browndell * Buna * Evadale * Jasper * Kirbyville *