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Anderson County, Texas


Anderson County Courthouse is located at 500 North Church Street, Palestine TX 75801; phone: 903-723-7432.

Anderson was incorporated in 1846 and named for Kenneth L. Anderson, the last Vice-President of the Texas Republic. There is also a "city" of Anderson in Texas, located in Grimes County.

County as Described in 1881 [1]

Area, 1,088 square miles. Population, 17,395. Situated between the Neches and Trinity Rivers, and well watered by these rivers and many smaller streams, and supplied with numerous springs of freestone water. Excellent water is also obtained in wells at from fifteen to fifty feet. There are several sulphur and chalybeate springs in the county. In the western part of the county are salt springs or lagoons, which have been profitably worked. About four-fifths of the county is timbered, and one-fifth prairie. The soil of the county is of four kinds : the first, a light, sandy soil, very easy of cultivation ; the second, a red, sandy land, very rich, strong and enduring; the third is a dark gray land, covered with hickory, oak, dogwood and sumach, very productive, and will last for years ; and the fourth is creek and river bottom land — the former a chocolate soil, and the latter a black stiff soil, not surpassed for fertility in any country. This latter land will generally yield 500 pounds of lint-cotton per acre, of from 30 to 40 bushels of corn. The uplands yield about half a bale of cotton, and from 20 to 30 bushels of corn to the acre. But little clover has hitherto been grown in this county, the general impression having been that it would not do well. Experiments made upon a small scale this season, however, have resulted most satisfactorily, and in the light of these experiments it is now believed that both red-top clover and timothy will yield heavy crops of excellent quality.

The soil of this county produces abundantly Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, oats, rye, wheat, barley, millet, tobacco, melons, apples, pears, peaches, plums, apricots, raspberries, strawberries and gooseberries, all of which pay a good profit on the labor devoted to their culture. Grapes grow in abundance in the forest, and are converted into wine of a superior quality.

Fair sorghum is raised successfully, and the castor-bean grows spontaneously as a weed. No doubt it might be cultivated so as to be a source of great profit.

The county is well supplied with timber of the following varieties : red-oak, post-oak, white-oak, pecan, walnut, hickory, elm, ash, and large bodies of pine. The oaks, hickory and pecan, supply in abundance an excellent mast, which by many is solely depended on for the fattening of their hogs. The pine forest is large, occupying much of the eastern half of the county, and some fifteen or twenty saw-mills are busily engaged cutting an excellent class of lumber for a large and rapidly extending market.

Not less than twenty-five mills and gins are run in this county by water-power, and there are sites for the erection of many more. There is an unlimited amount of iron ore in the county, particularly in the northern section. This ore is of a good quality, and only lies idle awaiting capital. It was worked during the war, and since, to some extent. In time to come it will prove to be a source of great wealth. In 1862, 1863 and 1864, three blast furnaces were successfully operated, and the iron turned out by these furnaces was pronounced by experts to be equal to the best Swede iron.

The health of the county is good, except on the river bottoms, which, although the lands are wonderfully productive, are not recommended to immigrants from the north, until they shall have become thoroughly acclimated.

There was a large immigration to this county the last two seasons, the greater portion of the people coming from the Northern States. They have made good crops and are succeeding well. An abundance of good unimproved land can still be bought at from $1 to $5 per acre. There is also considerable improved land for sale and rent on easy terms.

  1. The Southwestern Immigration Company, Texas: Her Resources and Capabilities, 1881, E.D. Slater, Jobber/Printer, New York; the title page describes the volume as "Being a description of the state of Texas and the inducements she offers to those seeking homes in a new country."

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