State Antiquities Landmarks in
Nacogdoches County, Texas

The Texas Rangers, a famous law enforcement agency, were first organized in 1835 to protect settlers from Native American attacks.
Nacogdoches County, Texas has a rich and deeply rooted history. The area's first inhabitants were indigenous Native American tribes, including the Caddo and Lipan Apache. European exploration reached the region in the early 18th century, with Spanish explorers establishing missions and settlements. Nacogdoches, founded in 1779, is the oldest town in Texas and served as a vital center for trade and commerce during the Spanish and Mexican periods.

During the Texas Revolution, Nacogdoches County played a significant role. It became a hotbed of support for the Texian cause, hosting important political meetings and serving as a training ground for volunteers. In 1836, General Sam Houston rallied troops in Nacogdoches before leading them to victory in the Battle of San Jacinto, securing Texas' independence from Mexico.

The county's economy flourished in the mid-19th century, driven by the booming lumber industry. Abundant pine forests attracted sawmills, leading Nacogdoches to become known as the "Gateway City to the Piney Woods." Railroads further facilitated economic growth, linking the area to major markets and fueling the development of thriving towns.

In the 20th century, Nacogdoches County continued to evolve, diversifying its economy beyond lumber and timber. The establishment of Stephen F. Austin State University in 1923 brought educational and cultural opportunities to the area. Today, Nacogdoches County retains its rich historical character while embracing modernization, attracting visitors with its vibrant downtown, historical sites, and natural beauty.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Nacogdoches County, Texas.

  • 1721 - Spanish settlers establish a mission called Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de los Nacogdoches, marking the earliest European presence in the area.
  • 1779 - Nacogdoches becomes the easternmost settlement in Spanish Texas when the Spanish government authorizes the town's relocation.
  • 1826 - Mexican authorities officially separate Nacogdoches from the Department of Bexar and establish it as a municipality.
  • 1836 - The Battle of Nacogdoches occurs during the Texas Revolution, with Texian forces defeating Mexican troops.
  • 1838 - Nacogdoches becomes the first English-speaking settlement to be incorporated by the Republic of Texas.
  • 1845 - Nacogdoches County is established as one of the original counties of the newly admitted state of Texas.
  • 1870 - The arrival of railroads spurs economic growth and development in Nacogdoches County.
  • 1902 - Stephen F. Austin State Normal School (now Stephen F. Austin State University) is established in Nacogdoches.
  • 1938 - The Texas State Railroad begins operating, providing transportation for timber and passengers.
  • 1986 - The Nacogdoches Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1989 - The Texas Legislature designates Nacogdoches as the "Oldest Town in Texas" due to its long history of continuous settlement.
  • 2005 - Nacogdoches experiences significant damage and power outages due to Hurricane Rita.
  • 2010 - The population of Nacogdoches County reaches over 64,000 residents.