Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - June 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Houston County 172nd Birthday
Houston County Courier - June 2008
By Crystal Rhone

Houston County located on El Camino Real is the oldest and the first created county in the Republic of Texas, making this growing county 172 years old. Houston County’s 172nd birthday celebration will be held in the Courthouse lobby on Thursday, June 12 at 2 p.m.
Houston County Judge Lonnie Hunt will present a proclamation honoring the event to the Houston County Historical Commission.
Cake and punch will be served. Houston County was established June 12, 1837 and is named for Samuel Houston, one of the most important figures in the history of Texas, president of the Republic of Texas and Governor of Texas.
The El Camino Real is recognized as one of the state’s oldest and most significant of the Trans-Texas routes and the most famous of the early historic trails.

  • The Crockett Courier, established in 1890, merged in 1958 with the Crockett Democrat on Jan. 1, 1959. In 1960, it became the Houston County Courier.
  • The first courthouse on the square was a log fort.
  • Weches was named in 1887.
  • Crockett was selected as county seat on Dec. 29, 1837.
  • A rash of settlers poured in and become the founders of Pennington in 1866 thought to be named for the first merchant in the village, Hill Pennington.
  • By the end of the 1800s, Lovelady had a least eight stores, a livery stable, a gin, a sawmill, a blacksmith shop, three hotels, saloons and a barbershop.
  • Porter Springs was established in 1860.
  • In 1837, the process began to create Houston County.
  • Approved by Sam Houston on June 12, 1837, Houston County became official.
  • Named for Davy Crockett, the town was named by friend Andrew Gossett and his father Elijah.
  • Grapeland places its begging at the time of the Houston and Great Northern Railroad Company, in 1872.
  • In 1870, a Georgia wagon trained moved into the Ratcliff area, bringing in its first settlers.
  • The first college of the Republic of Texas was Trinity College at Old Alabama on the banks of the Trinity River and chartered in 1841.
  • The Shady Grove Post Office was established in 1855 and discontinued in 1866.
  • The Tadmor Post Office was established in 1855 and discontinued in 1914.
  • In 1932, the Crockett Post Office moved to its new location at 600 E. Goliad.
  • The community of Kennard came from the Four C sawmill, which began operation in 1902.
  • Hall Bluff, named for James M. Hall sprang up in 1857.
  • Lovelady, in the southernmost part of the county, had her birth in 1872, with the coming of the Houston and Great Northern Railroad from Houston to Palestine.
  • Father William E. Hamilton was the first pastor assigned to St. Francis of the Tejas Catholic Church.
  • Crockett High School held its first commencement program in 1896, after four years of servicing its community.
  • The Houston County Airport was initiated in 1968.
  • Believed to be the first newspaper published in Houston County was The Crockett Printer’s first issue of record was dated on Dec. 6 1853.

Some major highways that travel through Houston County are US Hwy. 287, State Hwy. 7, State Hwy. 19 and State Hwy. 21.
Adjacent counties are Anderson, Cherokee, Angelina, Trinity, Walker, Madison and Leon.
According to the Crockett Printer, although a log courthouse and jail had been erected and the liberality of the legislature had granted a charter providing for the election of a Mayor, eight Alderman, a town Clerk, etc., yet for some month the solitary citizen, who kept store in a 16 foot long cabin, was daily asked, ‘How far to Crockett?”’
“The shopkeeper answered ‘You are right in the public square of Crockett, now, stranger.”




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