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Texas Counties

Texas is divided into two hundred and fifty-four counties, more than any other 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

Henderson County, Texas

Henderson County Education, Geography, and History

Henderson County, Texas Courthouse

Henderson County is a county located in the state of Texas. Based on the 2010 census, its population was 78,532. The county seat is Athens. The county is named in honor of James Pinckney Henderson, the first Attorney General of the Republic of Texas, and later Secretary of State for the republic.

Henderson County comprises the Athens, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK Combined Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Henderson County Name

James Pinckney Henderson, the first governor of Texas


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Henderson County History

Henderson County was established in 1846, the year after Texas statehood. Its first town was Buffalo, laid out in 1847. The current county boundaries were set in 1850, with some reduction from the previous size. The restructuring resulted in the need for a new county seat. In an election, Athens was chosen as the site for the "courthouse under the oaks." It is named in honor of James Pinckney Henderson, the first Attorney General of the Republic of Texas, and later Secretary of State.

Handbook of Texas Online
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. Reagan 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, 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 Starr 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
Linda Sybert Hudson, "HENDERSON COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hch13), accessed January 24, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the 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

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • 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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