Museums in
Angelina County, Texas

In the late 19th century, Texas became known for its cattle drives, in which cowboys would move herds of cattle from Texas to railheads in Kansas and other northern states. The cattle drives were dangerous and difficult work, but they played a key role in the development of the American cattle industry.
Angelina County, located in the eastern part of Texas, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Caddo and Atakapa tribes. The arrival of Spanish explorers in the 16th century had a significant impact on the region, as they established missions and trading posts throughout East Texas.

In the 19th century, the area that is now Angelina County found itself in the middle of the conflict between Spanish Texas and the newly-formed Republic of Mexico. As Mexico gained independence from Spain, the region became a part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. This tumultuous period culminated in the Texas Revolution, during which Texas gained its independence from Mexico, leading to the formation of the Republic of Texas.

Angelina County was officially established in 1846, named after a Hainai Native American woman who had served as a guide and interpreter for Spanish and French expeditions in the area. The county experienced rapid growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries due to the timber industry. The area's vast pine forests attracted logging and sawmill operations, which led to the establishment of several towns and the creation of jobs.

Over the years, Angelina County has diversified its economy beyond timber. The discovery of oil and natural gas in the early 20th century brought further economic growth and development to the region. Today, the county continues to thrive with a mix of industries, including healthcare, education, manufacturing, and agriculture. The county is also home to various recreational areas, including Lake Sam Rayburn and the Angelina National Forest, which attract visitors from near and far. Angelina County's rich history and thriving present make it a vibrant and dynamic part of Texas.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Angelina County, Texas.

  • 1805: The area that would become Angelina County is part of the disputed Neutral Ground between Spanish Texas and the United States.
  • Early 19th Century: Native American tribes, including the Caddo, Cherokee, and Apache, populate the region.
  • 1837: Angelina County is officially established from parts of Houston County and Nacogdoches County. It is named after a Delaware Indian girl, Angelina, who was married to a settler, who later became a local Native American agent.
  • 1846: The first county seat, Marion, is established near the Neches River, but is later abandoned in favor of the more central Lufkin.
  • Mid-19th Century: The county's economy relies on agriculture, particularly cotton production, as well as timber and sawmills.
  • 1882: The Houston East and West Texas Railway is extended into Angelina County, boosting economic development and commerce.
  • Early 20th Century: The discovery of oil deposits contributes to the county's growth and prosperity.
  • 1927: Lufkin becomes the official county seat, replacing Homer.
  • 20th Century: Angelina County experiences periods of economic growth and decline, influenced by various factors such as the Great Depression, the oil industry, and the timber industry.
  • Today: Angelina County remains an important center for timber production, while also diversifying its economy with manufacturing, healthcare, and education sectors.