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.
Upshur County, located in northeastern Texas, has a rich and diverse history that dates back to the prehistoric times. The area was initially inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Caddo and Cherokee, who roamed the land and established settlements along the Sabine River. The first European explorers arrived in the 18th century, with the Spanish laying claim to the region but exerting little influence. It wasn't until the early 19th century that Anglo-American settlers began to arrive.

The county was officially organized in 1846, and it was named after Abel P. Upshur, a former United States Secretary of State. During the mid-19th century, the discovery of iron ore deposits in the county brought economic development and a boom in population. The industry fueled the growth of several towns, including Ore City and Big Sandy.

The Civil War had a significant impact on Upshur County, as it saw both Union and Confederate sympathizers in the area, leading to conflicts and divisions among the residents. After the war, the county slowly recovered and experienced growth with the arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century. The establishment of the East Texas oil industry in the early 20th century further boosted the county's economy.

Today, Upshur County continues to thrive with a diverse economy that includes agriculture, manufacturing, and oil production. The area also offers numerous outdoor recreational activities, such as fishing, camping, and hiking in the beautiful natural surroundings. With a rich history and a vibrant present, Upshur County remains a significant part of Texas's cultural and economic landscape.

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

  • 1846 - Upshur County created and organized by the Texas legislature
  • 1848 - First county elections held
  • 1877 - Construction of the first courthouse
  • 1880 - The city of Gilmer becomes the county seat
  • 1890 - Population reaches 11,206
  • 1900 - First public high school established in Gilmer
  • 1930 - Discovery of oil leads to an economic boom
  • 1940 - Population peaks at 24,185
  • 1967 - Completion of Lake Gilmer, a reservoir for water supply and recreation
  • 2009 - Historic Upshur Museum dedicated in Gilmer