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County Court House
1850 most of the area that later became Rains County fell within the
boundaries of Wood County, which was represented in the state Senate
by Emory Rains, an early pioneer who had served in the Congress of the
Republic of Texas. In 1866 Rains lobbied for the bill that established
Rains County. On June 9, 1870, the legislature approved "an Act
to create and provide for the organization of the County of
Rains." The bulk of the new county was taken from Wood
western section, including the sites of the first settlements, came
from Hunt County, and a narrow strip of land in the north was carved
from Hopkins County. The act provided that the citizens should choose
a county seat, to be named Emory. Springville, the largest and most
centrally located community, was designated the temporary place of
business for the five appointed commissioners and was later selected
as the permanent county seat and renamed Emory. By 1857 the town had a
store, tanning yard, and gin.
at least the early 1880s, when rail service was first brought to Rains
County, most of the inhabitants did their business in Mineola in
adjoining Wood County. A log house in Emory was used initially as a
temporary county courthouse.
In 1872 a two-room wooden courthouse was erected. Seven years later
the small building burned, along with all of the county records. The
seat of government was moved back into the original log house until
1884, when a new brick courthouse was completed. In 1908 the
courthouse was again destroyed by fire, but this time the records were
Cities and towns
Zandt County (southwest)
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