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Trinity County TX
Trinity County


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Former Trinity County Seat

Trinity County, East Texas

30° 56' 44" N, 95° 22' 32" W (30.945556, -95.375556)

State Hwy 19 and Hwy 94 with
FMs 230, 356, and 1617
2 Miles NE of the Trinity River
21 Miles NE of Huntsville
20 Miles SW of Groveton the county seat
ZIP code 75862
Area code 936
Population: 2,756 Est. (2019)
2,697 (2010) 2,721 (2000) 2,648 (1990)

Trinity, Texas Area Hotels › Huntsville Hotels

Trinity TX - Men on ox, July 1920
"Trinity, Texas, July 2, 1920
Photo by Congdon, For Taylor & Young"
Click on image to enlarge
Old Photo courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

History in a Pecan Shell

An early community known as Kayser’s Prairie, occupied the land prior to the 1870s. The town we now know as Trinity became a station on the Houston and Great Northern Railroad in 1872 although it was first Trinity Station and then Trinity City before dropping the extra words.

The railroad increased the population dramatically when it bypassed the county seat (Sumpter, Texas). Trinity became the county seat in May of 1873 although that status was short-lived.

In 1874 Pennington became the county seat, even though Trinity was the county’s railroad center and its most populated community. The population reached 900 in the mid 1880s which swelled to 1,200 for the 1890 census.

A fire destroyed 12 houses in 1892 but that doesn’t explain the drop in population (just 500 by 1896).

By 1904 it had 850 residents and the town was electrified in 1906.

A second fire in 1909 destroyed the town’s business district and a third fire in 1915 (when the population had reached 1,800) caused further damage, but the town rebuilt on each occasion. The population grew slowly, reaching nearly 2,650 in 1990.

Trinity was (after cotton growing declined in the 1920s) a timber center and once had 30 sawmills in operation at its peak.

The Texas Department of Corrections has several prisons in the area.

Trinity TX - Railroad Street
"Railroad St., Trinity, Texas
Pub. by Mansell's Pharmacy."
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
See Railroads in Texas | Texas Depots

Trinity, Texas Historic Attractions

Attractions & Historical Markers

Trinity TX Post Office Mural "Lumber Manufacturing"

Trinity's 1942 Post Office Mural
"Lumber Manufacturing"
by Jerry Bywaters

Photo courtesy Marilyn Tomalavage, 2011

Historical Marker: Gray at Robb streets, Trinity, Texas

Texas Long Leaf Lumber Company

In 1907, Thompson Brothers Lumber Company built a mill and 37-acre pond at Trinity. Texas Long Leaf Lumber Company, which started at Willard in 1912, bought Thompson Brothers’ Trinity Mill in 1922.

Under management of Paul Sanderson for 22 years, the company was one of the nation’s most successful manufacturers of yellow pine and southern hardwoods. Working with forest landowners in Texas, Sanderson promoted selected cutting, reforestation, fire protection and removal of defective trees. By 1937 the mill was producing 3.5 million board feet monthly. The commercial species of lumber cut were long leaf, short leaf, and loblolly pine, oak, gum, ash, magnolia, and various other woods. The main office of Texas Long Leaf Lumber Company was the 205-acre mill site in Trinity, with additional sales offices in Houston and St. Louis.

The company was one of Trinity’s largest employers, with as many as 450 employees. During World War II, production reached 140,000 board feet daily, resulting in lumber flown to Europe and Africa and the awarding of the Army-Navy “E” Award in a march 17, 1944, ceremony in Trinity. Sanderson turned to a widespread public campaign for postwar planning and perpetuation of the timber industry in Texas with emphasis on timber as a renewable natural resource. At the time of his untimely death in October 1944, Sanderson held many civic and lumber industry offices, including President of the Southern Pine Association, President of the Texas Forest Association and Chairman of the Texas Prison Board. In 1953, Texas Long Leaf timber interests totaled 252,230 acres in six East Texas counties.

The closing of the mill in 1955 had a devastating impact on the local economy and ended a long chapter in the history of the community.

Trinity TX Post Office Mural "Lumber Manufacturing"
Trinity's 1942 Post Office Mural
"Lumber Manufacturing"

Photo courtesy Marilyn Tomalavage, 2011
More Texas Post Office Murals

Historical Marker: 100 San Jacinto, Trinity, Texas

Old Red Schoolhouse

Trinity’s first schoolhouse was a one-room log structure built in 1872 near Cedar Grove Cemetery. A two-story frame schoolhouse that stood on this site from 1897 to 1911 was moved several blocks northwest to serve African American students. Under Supt. J. Woolam Bright, construction of a new brick building began here in 1911, and after many delays it opened by 1915. The prairie style, T-plan building housed all grade levels until completion of an adjacent high school in 1928. “Old Red” served as a schoolhouse for 80 years. When it was slated for demolition in the 1990s, concerned citizens and former students worked with the school district to preserve the historic building for continued use.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

[See Restoring Two Old Reds
by Bob Bowman (All Things Historical]

Historical Marker: 980 South Robb, Trinity, Texas
Trinity Chapel A.M.E. Church
The Trinity Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church traces its beginnings to 1882 when it was established as a mission church. The Reverend W.M. Apling was appointed as the first pastor. Land for a church was donated in 1887 by the New York and Texas Land Company, Ltd. A small one-room building was erected by 1890. To house its growing numbers, the members redesigned the sanctuary. Changes included relocating the entrance, adding a bell tower, and attaching a wing to the north and south sides. The pews were hand-hewn wooden benches, supported by backs decorated with nine-inch spindles.

Several prominent area citizens have been members of this church. The congregation promotes programs such as Sunday school and vacation Bible school, and supports civic responsibility through local scholarships and financial patronage of Paul Quinn College in Dallas, and the Trinity Community Cemetery. The Church also sponsors a clothing bank, promotes an African American parade and contributes to other social outreach programs. The Trinity Chapel A.M.E. Church continues to serve the Trinity area as it has for more than a century.

Historical Marker: 131 N. Elm St., (Elm and Caroline) Trinity, Texas

First United Methodist Church of Trinity

This congregation was organized in 1872, the same year the City of Trinity was founded. The Rev. John Woolam is credited with the establishment of the church and also served as its first itinerate minister. Woolam held services in Trinity one Sunday each month. his preaching circuit at that time consisted on 12 to 15 stations, including Trinity, Nevilles Prairie, Blackland, and Lovelady.

Early worship services were held in the Barnes-Lister store in Trinity. In 1873 a one-room log schoolhouse was constructed, and it served for a time as a community church building as well. The Methodist congregation built the first sanctuary during the early 1880s at the corner of what is now Robb and Madision. The one-room building soon became too small for the growing fellowship, and additions were made in 1902 and in 1913. The current sanctuary was completed in 1928.

Throughout its history, Trinity United Methodist Church has provided significant service and leadership to the community. With its emphasis on christian education and missionary programs, the congregation continues to uphold the ideals and traditions of its founders.

Historical Marker: 200 Robb St., Trinity, Texas

Dorcas Wills Memorial Baptist Church

Originally known as the Trinity Baptist Church in Christ, this congregation was formally organized on January 23, 1876, by the Rev. D.S. Snodgrass. Charter members included J.R. and Rachel Shaw, Mrs. S.J. Knox, O.G. Shaw, Dr. and Mrs. J.M. Arnold, and Catherine Turner.

During Snodgrass' pastorate, which lasted until December 1877, a Union Sunday school was organized and a sanctuary was built on land donated by the International & Great Northern Railroad. Despite early setbacks, such as a 1909 fire that destroyed the church building, the congregation grew in numbers and provided significant service and leadership to the community. The current name was adopted in 1934 upon the completion of anew sanctuary in memory of Dorcas Sheffield Wills. Over the years, several members of the congregation have been licensed to preach. The Calvary Baptist Church of Trinity was formed by a group from this fellowship.

An important part of the religious heritage of Trinity, Dorcas Wills Memorial Baptist Church continues to uphold the ideals and traditions of its nineteenth-century founders.

Historical Marker: 2005 Pinecrest Road, Trinity, Texas

John Henley Hill House

Sitting proudly on a hill surrounded by giant southern magnolia, oak, cedar and crepe myrtle trees, the John Henley Hill house is situated on one of the earliest plantation sites located within the Elisha Roberts Survey. John Henley Hill was born on November 30, 1839, in Richmond, Indiana. Following the death of his first wife and the mother of his two children, Phoebe E. Branson, in 1870, John married her sister, Susanna Branson, in 1871. in 1876, John and Susanna met Col. George W. Grant while participating in a knitting machine demonstration at the Centennial International Exposition. He encouraged them to relocate to Grant’s Colony in Walker County, Texas. After one year of managing the settlement, the Hill family moved to Trinity County. It is unknown where the Hills lived when they first arrived but in 1880, John Hill purchased 200 acres from S.T. Robb and began construction on this house for his family.

Built from 1880 to 1882, the two-story hill house reflects elements of carpenter gothic architectural style, typical of rural architecture of the period. Features include double hung windows, narrow boxcar siding, curved arches and carved decorative sawn brackets. Multiple porches and entries to the house provide outdoor space and cover from the elements. White limestone fireplaces accent the first floor along with arched entries and natural wood elements. The John Henley Hill house stands as a representation of early Trinity County history and rural architecture.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Historical Marker: W. Main St., (FM 230), Trinity, Texas
Cedar Grove Cemetery
The first documented burial in the cemetery, that of Phebe A. Martin, took place in 1875, three years after the town of Trinity was laid out on the George W. Wilson survey. Nearly 100 graves, many of them from an 1897-98 diphtheria epidemic, date to the 19th century. In 1914, a cemetery association was chartered to manage and maintain the public burial ground. Among those buried here are founders of Trinity, professional and business leaders, and local citizens who served in the United States armed forces.

Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986

Trinity County TX 1907 Postal Map
1907 Trinity County Postal Map showing Trinity
(SW of Groveton near Walker County line)

Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Take a road trip

East Texas

Trinity, Texas Nearby Towns:
Groveton the county seat

See Trinity County | Walker County

Book Hotel Here:
Crockett Hotels | More Hotels

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