in a Pecan Shell
Known originally as Springfield in 1839, the town was renamed
after Livingston, Tennessee, hometown of Moses Choate, the man who
donated land for the townsite when Polk
County was formed in 1846.
A brief timeline of selected Livingston events:
1902: Fire destroys much of downtown - town is incorporated
1917: Highway 35 (59) constructed
1932: Oil discovered 10 miles S of town
1936: City limits extended
1968: Lake Livingston is developed
Livingston population estimates:
Seat of Polk
County, founded in 1846; incorporated 1902. Named by Moses L.
Choate, donor of its 100-acre townsite.
It became vital trade, educational and social center for people of
sawmills and boat landings on the Trinity River. General
Sam Houston was among guests dancing at Old Andress Inn in the
early 1850s. The only Indian reservation in Texas, for the Alabama-Coushatta
tribe, is located near here.
The economy is agricultural, based chiefly on ranching and timber.
Since 1930 there has been major oil and gas development. Pine forest
capital of Texas.
Landmarks & Attractions:
1939 Photo courtesy TxDoT
Photo courtesy Jim Evans, 2016
Marker (on Heritage Park, W. Church and Drew St.)
Built in 1911 by
Philadelphia's Baldwin Locomotive Works, this locomotive was first
used to transport timber in Florida. In the 1920s, it was purchased
for use in Texas' logging industry by the Angelina
County-based Carter-Kelley Lumber Company. The locomotive traveled
and Polk County mill
towns on Houston, East and West Texas Railway tracks, picking up logs
and finished lumber that frequently had been hauled from local cutting
areas by oxen. In use until 1952, the No. 5 contributed to the development
of the area's timber industry.
Camping, boating and fishing.
US 190, W of Livingston
Camping, boating, fishing & horseback riding
In the Big Thicket
Camping, fishing and swimming.
Historic log cabin. Downtown.
530 W. Church St.
514 W. Mill St.
Theater in Livingston
TE photo, 2001
Williams' Texas Director
by Bob Bowman ("All Things Historical" column)
Without the interest of an East Texas woman, American theater icon
Tennessee Williams might still be writing high school plays in a
small town.... At the time of her death in 1955, Margo Jones and
Tennessee Williams had changed the face of theater not only in Texas,
but nationally as well. Margo was buried in her hometown cemetery
at Livingston and on April 26 the Texas Historical Commission and
Polk County Historical Commission placed a state marker on her grave.
Photo courtesy Jim Evans, 2016
The historical marker for Birthplace of Margo Jones.
Today it's an empty lot, when I was growing up (long long ago) the
house was there. She was probably the most famous person to come
from Livingston. - Jim Evans, December 08, 2016
Livingston Texas Election Night
Back in the early 50s' when I was quite young, I remember going
to the courthouse on election day, and watching them put the election
results on a large tote board. The reason for this was that not
everyone had access to a television back then - especially poorer
people. Election day (any election - local, state, or national)
was a big thing then. It seemed everyone in the entire county was
there discussing this and that about their favorite candidate, and
some would get in fairly heated arguments. The merchants there in
town loved it, as it was a time when the men would bring their wives,
and they would shop in the stores there in downtown Livingston.
During National elections, people would stay around the courthouse
'til quite late - waiting to find out who won the election. Respectfully,
Thomas R. McIntyre, March 10, 2006
There is one
interesting fact that seldom makes the rounds when people talk of
Livingston; and that is that the first golf course for Livingston
was on my grand father's farm which was just north of Livingston,
about 2 1/2 miles north on old Hwy. 35. Such early luminaries of
the city of Livingston such as Mr. Gerlac, Mr. H.B. Davis and various
and a sundry other folks would go there to play a round or two of
golf. My father A.J. McIntyre would caddy for them. This was some
time in the mid 1930s. Also if you can get some of the older generation
of indians to tell you about it, my grand father would hire them
and pay them what was then a decent wage to work on his farm. He
would send my uncle Thomas to the reservation to pick them up late
on Sunday, and had a place for them to stay the week. He then would
drive them back to the reservation on Friday night. This was a time
when no one would hire an Indian, but he did! - Thomas Mcintyre,
March 06, 2006
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