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San Jacinto County, Texas

County History


San Jacinto county was formed in 1870 from portions of Polk, Liberty, Montgomery and Walker counties. The east half of the county, including the town of Cold Spring, wa originally part of Polk count, and the earliest settlements were made there. Cold Spring is the oldest town in the county.  Originally there was a small area of prairie along the Trinity, but elsewhere the surface was heavily wooded. Though outside the long-leaf pine district, the timber resources of this county have for a number of years been the chief form of wealth.

After the H. E.& W. T. railroad was built through the southeast corner of the county in 1881, a number of sawmills were set up along the route. In recent years two short lines, the Trinity Valley Southern and the Houston, Fostoria & Northern, have been extended toward the center of the county, making available the timber wealth and also affording facilities for a general development and settlement of the county.

Beginning with the early settlement, the raising of cattle and hogs was the most profitable form of agriculture, the abundance of mast in the woods making it unnecessary to feed hogs. In 1909 the cattle and hogs of the county numbered about 25,000, so that the county still ranks high in the live stock industry.

The total population of the county in 1880, at the first census after its organization, was 6,186 (3,293 negroes) ; in 1890, 7,360; in 1900, 10,277 (5,531 negroes). The value of taxable property in 1881 was $721,313; in 1903, $1,901,216; in 1909, $3,022,745.

There are no large towns. The principal centers of population in 1890 were: Cold Spring, 439; Shepard, which was the principal shipping point, 210; Evergreen, 72; Maynard, 27. The population of the towns in 1900 was: Cold Spring, 439; Shepard, 278; Maynard, 127; Oakhurst, 116; Evergreen, 112.
[Source:  Historical Review of South-East Texas Illustrated, Volume 1, Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago (1910).  Transcribed by Mary Kifer.  Submitted by Marla Zwakman.

History of San Jacinto County, Texas

San Jacinto Counnty lies in Southeast Texas.  It was created in 1870 from portions of Polk, Liberty, Walker and Montgomery counties, deriving its name from the famous battlefield of San Jacinto. Its estimated population is 11,000; Cold Springs, Shepherd and Oakhurst have about 600 each. Total assessment, 13,022,745. The county has a varied surface, soil and timber. There is a small belt of prairie land in the southeastern part, being the northern extremity of Tarkington Prairie, the balance being timber lands and farms. About one-third is level and two-thirds broken. There is black and black sandy soil in the creek and river bottoms, with sandy and hammock lands on hills and uplands. There is generally a good clay foundation to the sandy soils. Timber consists of pine, oak, ash, gum, magnolia, chinquapin, beech, ironwood, etc.; pin oak, white oak, red oak, water oak, post oak being the varieties of oak. About one-half of the timber has been cut. The principal streams are the East San Jacinto River, Winters Bayou. Pools, Palmetto, Stephens, Mill, Bay, Big and Peach Creeks, together with Trinity on the east boundary. There are many bold springs of pure freestone water. There is an abundant underground water supply, good wells being had at 10 to 80 feet, generally about 30 feet. Some of the water is lime and sulphur, but mostly freestone. Prices of raw land range from $2 to $12 per acre; cultivated land. If sandy, $5 to $10 per acre; if black land. $10 to $20 per acre. The principal crops with their average yields per acre are as follows: Corn, 30 bushels; cotton, one-third bale; sugar cane for syrup, IB tons; Irish potatoes, 200 bushels; sweet potatoes, 250 bushels. Peaches, pears, plums and grapes are grown, and in the last year or two small shipments have been made; grapes and figs are just beginning to be grown. A great variety of vegetables is produced, and though railroad facilities are limited, small shipments are made each year. There are many stock farms and two or three ranches. Last year the tax rolls showed 12,393 cattle. 12,258 hogs. 3,487 horses and mules. 2,392 goats and 200 sheep. The Houston East and West Texas Railroad has 15 miles of operated track in the southeastern portion of the county; the Trinity Valley Southern extends seven miles into the northwest part of the county, from Dodge to Oakhurst, and is extending its line to Cold Spring; the Houston, Fostoria and Northern enters the southern part of the county and touches Cold Spring, turning thence west and Intersecting the International and Great Northern. There are 59 public schools in the county. 
[Source:Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide, 1910. Submitted by a friend of Genealogy Trails.]


Creating the County of San Jacinto

Be it declared by the representatives of the people of Texas, in Convention assembled, that the territory comprised within the following boundaries be, and the same is hereby erected, into a new county, be called the county of San Jacinto.

Sec. 1. Beginning in the channel of Trinity river, at a point opposite the mouth of Carolina Creek, in Walker county, running in a due line from thence to the head of the east branch of Peach Creek, in Montgomery county, thence down the channel of said Peach Creek to a point parallel with the thirteenth parallel and twenty minutes north latitude, in said Montgomery county; thence on a due line through one corner of Liberty county, to the channel of Trinity river, at the same point where the present southern line of Polk county crosses the channel of said Trinity river; from thence up the channel of said Trinity river with its meanderings to the place of beginning.

Sec. 2. That the town of Cold Springs, in the present county of Polk, shall be the county seat, or seat of justice, of said county of San Jacinto.

Sec. 3. That it is hereby made the duty of the County Court of Polk county to proceed immediately after the adoption of this declaration, to organize said county “San Jacinto,” and to appoint Levi L. McMicken, John Jackson and James Hogue as Commissioners, with full powers and authority to superintend and conduct an election, at the first general election hereafter held, for county officers, such as other counties have, under the laws of this State.

Provided, however, That should there be no general election of county Officers prior to the 21st day of April, A. D. 1869, then it shall be made the duty of the people of said new county, “San Jacinto,” to recommend to the Commanding General of the Fifth Military District, or the Department of Texas, suitable persons to fill all the offices in said new county.

Sec. 1. Provided further, It shall be the duty of the County Court of said new county, after its organization, to levy a tax, which shall not exceed in amount that collected by the laws now in force, and said court is hereby authorized to issue county bonds, payable in five years from the date of issuance; interest upon said bonds shall be paid yearly. The bonds and taxes so collected to be used in building a court house and jail for said county of San Jacinto.

Passed January 5, 1869.

[Source:The Laws of Texas 1822-18997, by Texas, Coahuila and Texas (Mexico), Coahuila and Texas (Mexico), 1898.  Submitted by a friend of Genealogy Trails.]


An Act supplementary ‘to an act entitled an act to provide for districting the State of Texas into judicial districts, approved July 2, A. D. 1870.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That the county of San Jacinto be and the same is hereby attached to and made part of the Thirtieth Judicial District of the State of Texas

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, that this act take effect and be in force from and after its passage.

Approved August 15, 1870.

[Source: The Laws of Texas 1822-18997, by Texas, Coahuila and Texas (Mexico), Coahuila and Texas (Mexico), 1898. Submitted by a friend of Genealogy Trails.]



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