History of Shelby County, TX
Shelby County is on the eastern boundary of Texas being separated from
Sabine Parish, Louisiana
by the Sabine River. The county seat and largest town is Center, named for
its geographic location of the county. Shelby County was first organized under the Mexican
government as Tenehaw Municipality, found in 1824. In 1836, the Congress of
the Republic of Texas established Shelby County, named for Isaac Shelby, United State
Revolutionary soldier from Tennessee. In 1882, the courthouse in Center burned
in a fire destroying all county records. A new courthouse was built and completed in
1885 modeled on an Irish castle by architect John Joseph Emmett Gibson, an Irish
immigrant. In 1971, the courthouse was recognized in the National Register of
Historic Places. Today, the leading industries of Shelby County are poultry and egg
processing, sawmills, road construction, agribusiness, general construction, manufacturing
of hardwood flooring, hardwood veneer, and plywood. The Toledo Bend Reservoir and
Sabine National Forest also attract many tourists.
Cities, towns & communities
twelve miles from Center on Highway 7. It was named after Herman Aiken. First
post office established in 1889 and closed in 1909. The population of Aiken in 1990
at the junction of Farm Market Road 138 & 1645, ten miles southwest of Center.
The population of Arcadia in 1990 was 20.
between Tenaha and Timpson
now a ghost town.
VISTA now a ghost town.
the county seat in Shelby County is located seventeen miles from
the Louisiana border. J. C. Margaret A. Wilson donated the land for the town in 1856
or 1857. The first post office was opened in 1866. The towns first framed
courthouse burned in 1882, and was replaced by J. J. E. Gibson's "Irish Castle."
The first telephone service came in 1905 and electricity in 1909. Centers
population in 1990 was 4,950.
located on U.S.
Highway 84, three miles west of Joaquin. Hanson was founded in 1905 and named after
a local family.
HUXLEY is on FM 2694
eighteen miles from Center in eastern Shelby County. It was founded about 1890 and
received a post office in 1903 with Joseph Hooper as postmaster. The post office
operated until 1905. In 1938, the community had a school with 100 students. In
1945 it had a store, a church, and a population of 50. Toledo Bend Reservoir was
constructed nearby in the 1960s, and Huxley was incorporated in 1969. In 1970, the
town had a population of 302. From that point, the population of the community
fluctuated, dropping to 23 by 1972 and then rising to 144 by 1978. By 1988 it had
risen to 366 and Huxley had no businesses. In 1990, the population was 335.
JAMES located six
miles northeast of Center on U. S. Highway 7. Established round 1890 and named for
James Rushing who served as first postmaster when opened from 1901 to 1905.
JOAQUIN is located on
U.S. Highway 84 and the Southern Pacific Railroad, fourteen miles northeast of Center in
northeastern Shelby County. It was founded in 1885, when Benjamin Franklin Morris donated
100 acres to the Houston, East and West Texas Railway on conditions that a railroad
station be constructed on the land. The station and the community that grew up
around it were named for Morris's grandson, Joaquin Morris. A post office was
established there in 1886 with Eratus F. Sayers as postmaster. In 1990, its
population was 805.
located on FM
2140, nine miles south of Center. It was founded in the latter part of 1800s and
named after Stephen de Neuville who in settled there in the 1840s. First post office
established in 1901 with William J. Neuville as postmaster but closed by 1966. The
population in 1990 was 43.
PATROON located on the
banks of Patroon Bayou at junction of Highway 87 and FM 2261, seventeen miles southeast of
Center. Patroon was founded just before the Civil War. First post office
established in 1868 with William Duffed as postmaster. Post office was closed in
1966. The population in 1990 was 53.
PAXTON located on
Highway 84 and Southern Pacific Railroad, twelve miles from Center. Post office
established in 1892. The settlement of Paxton was named after a local pioneer
family. The population in 1990 was 161.
located on FM
415, nine miles south of Timpson. It was founded in 1890s and named after H.J.
Stockman. First post office established in 1899 with William T. Wallace as
postmaster, but closed in early 1950s. The population in 1990 was 52.
is at the
junction of U.S. Highways 84, 59, and 96, on the tracks of the Southern Pacific some
eleven miles northwest of Center in northern Shelby County. It was founded in 1885
as a shipping point on the Houston East and West Texas Railway, when that railroad was
being constructed through the county. The community was named by members of the the
Hicks family for Tenehaw Municipality, the original name of Shelby County. A post
office was opened there in 1886 with James N. Woodfin as postmaster. Its populations
was reported as 1,072 in 1990.
the Southern Pacific Railroad at the junctions of US Highway 87, 84, & 59, fifteen
miles northwest of Center in northwestern Shelby County. It was founded in 1885,
when the Houston, East and West Texas Railway was being constructed through the area, and
was named for P. B. Timpson, an engineer on the railroad. Timpson received a post
office that year with James H. Blankenship as first Postmaster. In 1990,
Timpson had 1,029 residents.