settlers moved first into the area along the
and then into those previously occupied by the Indians. Some of the
first settlers were Jane Irvine, who had a Mexican land grant of a
league and a labor, and Henry Jeffreys, who owned the league of land
where the first community,
, developed. The town was at a ferry crossing on the
in the northwestern part of the county, near the site of present-day
Seven Points. John H. Reagan surveyed the town lots and began his law
practice there. The first commissioners were William Ware, David
Carlisle, Alfred Moore, Thacker Vivion, Sr., and James Hooker. The
on April 27, 1846, and named it in honor of James Pinckney Henderson,
first governor of the state of
. The county was formed from parts of
counties. Its court was first held in the home of William Ware, and
later, William Love.
was organized on August 4, 1846, and comprised 3,500 square miles at
was the county seat until March 1848. Bennett H. Martin presided over
the first district court in
, six miles west of the site of present Eustace, near the center of
the county, was to be the permanent county seat. James Harper Starr
donated 100 acres of land in the John P. Brown survey for the town,
and on September 11, 1848, Chief Justice B. Graham held court there.
did not remain the county seat. On April 2, 1849, the archives and
county government were returned to
, for reasons not exactly clear, and
ceased to exist.
1848 the legislature formed Van Zandt and Kaufman counties out of
and reduced it to its present size. The center of the county again
moved. J. B. Luker became chief justice, James Boggs sheriff, and E.
J. Thompson county clerk. Court was held under a grove of red oak
trees where the present courthouse stands. The name of the new county
, was suggested by Dulcina A. Holland (later Mrs. Dull Avriett), who
hoped the town would be a center of learning. The first courthouse,
built in 1850, cost the county fifty dollars. That year the population
consisted of 1,155 white persons, eighty-one slaves, and one free
black. Farming was the chief source of income; the county's 106 farms
had a value of $64,214, mainly from corn and sweet potatoes. In 1850,
the early settlers of
were from the upper South, but during the following decade westward
migration from the lower South greatly increased. Cotton was
introduced, though at the beginning production was negligible. By 1855
the courthouse had been sold and the proceeds given to W. B. Stirman
to build a jail, from which only one prisoner ever escaped. The second
county courthouse, a two-story, wooden, weather-boarded structure with
four brick chimneys, was completed in 1860 and sat in the center of
the square until it burned in 1885.
Sybert Hudson, "
," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hch13),
accessed August 29, 2013. Published by the
Used by permission.
to the Main Page
© Copyright 2015 by Genealogy Trails with full
rights reserved for original submitters.