Texas has been a major oil-producing state for over a century. The first big oil discovery in Texas was the Spindletop field near Beaumont in 1901, which set off a massive oil boom that transformed the state's economy and made Texas one of the wealthiest states in the country.
Gregg County, Texas, located in the eastern part of the state, has a vibrant history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Caddo and Cherokee nations. Spanish explorers arrived in the 16th century, but it wasn't until the early 19th century that European settlement began in the area.

In 1839, Gregg County was established as part of the Republic of Texas, named after Texas Confederate States Army General John Gregg. The county grew slowly over the next few decades, with agriculture and cattle ranching being the primary industries. The discovery of oil in East Texas in the early 20th century brought significant economic growth to Gregg County. The prolific East Texas Oilfield attracted oil companies and workers from across the country, leading to a population boom.

During World War II, Gregg County played a crucial role in the war effort. The county's industrial base expanded rapidly as several defense plants were established in the area. The influx of workers and industries contributed to the county's postwar growth and prosperity.

Since then, Gregg County has continued to develop and diversify its economy. It is known for its agriculture, oil and gas production, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. The county is home to the city of Longview, which serves as the county seat and is a major cultural and economic hub in East Texas. Today, Gregg County boasts a rich history, a thriving community, and a promising future.

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

  • 1841 – The Texas Congress establishes Gregg County as a county in the Republic of Texas.
  • 1846 – Gregg County becomes a part of the United States as part of the state of Texas.
  • 1849 – The city of Longview is established as the county seat of Gregg County.
  • 1861-1865 – Gregg County residents participate in the American Civil War, with many men serving in the Confederate Army.
  • 1872 – The Longview and Pacific Railroad is completed, connecting Gregg County to the national railway system.
  • 1873 – The first public school in Gregg County opens in Longview.
  • 1930s – The discovery of the East Texas Oil Field leads to an economic boom in Gregg County.
  • 1936 – The East Texas State Teachers College (now known as Texas A&M University-Commerce) opens a branch in Longview.
  • 1980 – The Longview Mall, the first enclosed shopping mall in East Texas, opens in Longview.
  • 2006 – The East Texas Oil Museum, showcasing the history of the oil industry in the region, opens in Kilgore.