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Texas is divided into 254 counties, more than any other U.S. state Texas was originally divided into municipalities, a unit of local government under Spanish and Mexican rule. When the Republic of Texas gained its independence in 1836, there were 23 municipalities, which became the original Texas counties. Many of these would later be divided into new counties. The most recent county to be created was Kenedy County in 1921. The most recent county to be organized was Loving County in 1931
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Henderson County, Texas

Henderson County Education, Geography, and History

County Seat: Athens
Year Organized: 1846
Square Miles: 874
Court House:

Courthouse Square
County Courthouse
Athens, TX 75751-0000

Etymology - Origin of County Name

James Pinckney Henderson, the first governor of Texas


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

Henderson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. It is named in honor of James Pinckney Henderson, the first Attorney General of the Republic of Texas, and later Secretary of State. The seat of the county is Athens

White settlers moved first into the area along the Trinity River and then into those previously occupied by the Indians. Some of the first settlers were Jane Irvine, who had a Mexican land grant of a league and a labor, and Henry Jeffreys, who owned the league of land where the first community, Buffalo, developed. The town was at a ferry crossing on the Trinity River in the northwestern part of the county, near the site of present-day Seven Points. John H. Reaganqv surveyed the town lots and began his law practice there. The first commissioners were William Ware, David Carlisle, Alfred Moore, Thacker Vivion, Sr., and James Hooker. The Texas legislature established Henderson County on April 27, 1846, and named it in honor of James Pinckney Henderson,qv first governor of the state of Texas. The county was formed from parts of Nacogdoches and Houston counties. Its court was first held in the home of William Ware, and later, William Love. Henderson County was organized on August 4, 1846, and comprised 3,500 square miles at the time. Buffalo was the county seat until March 1848. Bennett H. Martin presided over the first district court in Buffalo in 1847. Centerville, six miles west of the site of present Eustace, near the center of the county, was to be the permanent county seat. James Harper Starrqv donated 100 acres of land in the John P. Brown survey for the town, and on September 11, 1848, Chief Justice B. Graham held court there. But Centerville did not remain the county seat. On April 2, 1849, the archives and county government were returned to Buffalo, for reasons not exactly clear, and Centerville ceased to exist.

More at Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "," (accessed November 6, 2008).


According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 949 square miles (2,458 km2), of which, 874 square miles (2,264 km2) of it is land and 75 square miles (194 km2) of it (7.88%) is water.

Neighboring Counties:

  • Kaufman County (north)
  • Van Zandt County (north)
  • Smith County (east)
  • Cherokee County (southeast)
  • Anderson County (south)
  • Freestone County (southwest)
  • Navarro County (west)
  • Ellis County (northwest)


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