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HENDERSON, TEXAS

Rusk County Seat, East Texas
US 259, Hwys 64, 79 and 43
138 miles E of Dallas
35 miles SE of Tyler
Population: 13,990 (2010) 12,000 (2000)

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Rusk County Memorial Library and Museum buildings, Henderson Texas
Buildings at the Museum
Photo courtesy Lori Martin, December 2005
See Texas Museums
Historical Marker:

Henderson, Texas

Founded as the county seat for the newly created county of Rusk in 1843, Henderson was named for Republic of Texas pioneer and statesman James Pinckney Henderson, who would later become the first Governor of the State of Texas. Land for the town was donated by W. B. Ochiltree, who stipulated that it be named for his friend Henderson, and by Republic of Texas General James Smith, who is known as the "Father of Henderson." Town lots were sold soon after the city was established, with land set aside for both churches and schools. A wooden courthouse was built in the center of town in 1849, and the town grew steadily as homes and businesses were constructed. A disastrous fire destroyed much of the central business district in 1860. Following the Civil War and the arrival of the railroads in this area in the 1870s, a large number of brick structures were built in the downtown area. The discovery of the vast East Texas oil field in 1930 caused an economic boom in Henderson. The population increased from 2,000 to 10,000 within a matter of months. The town continues to serve as a center of commerce and civic activities.
(1989)
TX - Rusk County Courthouse
Rusk County Courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, July 2007

More Henderson Attractions

  • The Rusk County Courthouse
    (The fourth Rusk County Courthouse was built in 1928 and sits at the corner of North Main Street and Fordall Street.)
  • Depot Museum and Children's Discovery Center: 514 North High Street
  • East Texas Discovery Well
  • Gaston Museum: 6558 Texas 64 west
  • Howard-Dickinson House: 501 Main Street Open 1 to 5. This house was the first brick house in Rusk County. After it was built in 1855, Sam Houston was a frequent guest of the owner.
  • Lakeforest Park
  • The Arnold Outhouse
    Located on the grounds of the Depot Museum and Children's Discovery Center
  • A cotton gin gets a new life
  • Rusk county jail, Henderson Texas
    Zig-zag detail on Rusk County Jail doorway
    TE photo, 2003
    See Texas Jails
    Henderson TX - Thomas Jefferson Rusk Statue

    Memorial statue to the county's namesake
    Thomas Jefferson Rusk

    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, July 2007
    More Texas Monuments & Statues

    Henderson TX water tower and masonic lodge
    The former Palace Theatre at 101 N. Jackson St.
    TE photo, 2003
    More Texas Theatres | Texas Water Towers
    Henderson TX  masonic lodge historical marker
    The old Masonic Lodge building at 101 N. Main St.
    TE photo, 2003
    See Texas Lodges
    Henderson Chronicles
  • Henderson, Tornado - 1866 by Dr. Marlene Bradford
  • Oil refinery, Henderson, Texas
    Oil refinery, Henderson, Texas
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
    Henderson, Texas street scene
    Henderson street scene
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
    Henderson Tourist Information
    Henderson Area Chamber of Commerce
    201 North Main Street, Henderson, Tx 75652
    phone: 903-657-5528
    Website: http://www.hendersontx.com/
    Henderson Hotels > Book Hotel Here
    Henderson, Texas
    Area Destinations:

    Tyler

    Longview

    East Texas Towns
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