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CHIRENO, TEXAS

Nacogdoches County, East Texas

31░29'56"N 94░20'44"W (31.498774, -94.345574)

State Highway 21
18 miles SE of Nacogdoches the county seat
16 miles W of San Augustine
30 miles from Lufkin (via FM 95)
ZIP code 75937
Area code 936
Population: 384 Est. (2019)
386 (2010) 405 (2000) 415 (1990)

Chireno, Texas Area Hotels › Nacogdoches Hotels

Downtown Chireno, Texas
Downtown Chireno
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2006

History in a Pecan Shell

The town was named for one of the original Spanish settlers - Jose Antonio Chireno. Perhaps Chireno's most famous resident was dancer/ movie star Ann Miller who used to spend summers on her grandparent's farm.

A timeline of significant historic events in Chireno

1790: The Spanish government granted land to settlers
1837: John Newton Fall, of Georgia (the first Anglo settler) bought land from JosÚ Chirino.
That same year Samuel Flournoy, built a large two-story house that served as the town's first post office.
1839: Chireno got it's first public school.
1846: the Flournoy house became a stagecoarch stop.

The Civil War:
The men of fighting age in Chireno left the area to serve defending the Texas coast. Others operated a tannery supplying boots, saddles, harnesses and reins for the Southern cause.

Reconstruction
The Freedmen's Bureau opened an office nearby in Nacogdoches, and black soldiers were sent to Chireno as election monitors. The Ku Klux Klan organized locally to prevent black voting. Eventually tensions eased.

1866: one of the first oil wells in Texas. was drilled.
1912: the Angelina and Neches River Railroad came to Chireno from Lufkin.
1990: The population of Chireno was 415.


A closed church in Chireno, Texas
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2006


A church in the piney woods in Chireno, Texas
Two views of a closed church in Chireno
Photos Courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2006
More Texas Churches


Chireno, East Texas piney woods
The piney woods in Chireno
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2006

Chireno, Texas Chronicles:

From Nazis in the Pineywoods by Archie P. McDonald, PhD

"... World War II was different. Captured Germans or Japanese could not be allowed to "go home" or our G.I.'s would be fighting them again soon. So it was decided that they be detained in America until repatriated at the end of the war. Texas hosted 29 such camps, including a major depot located in Huntsville.

Work brought the German prisoners to Deep East Texas. Faced with a labor shortage during the war and a devastating ice storm that made rapid harvest of damaged timber imperative, Ernest L. Kurth, founder of the Southland Paper Mill in Lufkin, convinced the government to "loan" him some of Huntsville's German prisoners of war.

The prisoners were willing to work, a better alternative than the tedium of incarceration. Their arrival in camp in Chireno raised the anxiety level of native East Texans at first, but in time the system worked well. Amid war-time rationing, some East Texans resented the good chow -- including ice cream! -- enjoyed in the camp, but mostly they were just curious about these strangers from the Rhine country..."



Take a road trip

East Texas

Chireno, Texas Nearby Towns:
Nacogdoches the county seat
San Augustine
Lufkin
See Nacogdoches County

Book Hotel Here:
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