As we celebrate the 90th Old Fiddlers Reunion, there was recently another milestone worth celebrating. In 1846 the Texas Legislature formed Henderson County from parts of Nacogdoches and Houston Counties.
It was named in honor of James Pickney Henderson, Texas' first Governor. The first town established was Buffalo, which formed the county seat in 1847.
“When Henderson County was founded in 1846, our country was 70 years old and the State of Texas was only one year old,” stated Susan Barkley, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Regent. “Early settlers, some of whom were descendants of Revolutionary War Patriots came here for land and a new way of life. They faced hardship and danger but as they raised families and built homes, ranches, churches and stores, a solid foundation was laid for Henderson County. Every family that has been here since has built upon that foundation, and the county ha& flourished. We must never forget from where we have come.”
Athens became the site for the courthouse under the oaks by election in 1850, when the county had 1,237 residents according to the census. It now has an estimated population of 84,005 people with 20 incorporated cities and towns and 12 school districts.
Commissioners Court issued a proclamation declaring April 27 the official anniversary and referred to the Texas traditions, heritage and pioneering spirit of those who walked this ground before us towards a brighter future, while preserving the rich history of this county and the people that helped build it.
“In present day Henderson County, the 'Tejas' spirit is embodied which makes it a great place to live, work, play and raise a family,” states the proclamation.
Henderson County is located in the region of East and Central Texas and was inhabited early on by Native American’s followed by those of European descent. The first railroad came through in 1880 and agriculture, hunting and fishing remain a vital part of the area.
The 87th Legislature stated in a Senate Resolution that “the residents of Henderson County can take great pride in the county’s rich history and in the outstanding contributions of its citizens to the growth and prosperity of the Lone Star State over the past 175 years.”