Stephen F. Austin State University

Camp County

Camp County is located in the upper northeast corner of East Texas. The namesake of the county is Captain John Lafayette Camp, who served Texas during the Civil War. The Texas legislature incorporated the county officially in 1874. The county sits on land suitable mainly for farming and other agricultural ventures. In the 1850s and 1860s, corn and cotton were the staple products. From the Reconstruction period through the Great Depression, Camp County remained predominately farmers. However, with the implementation of New Deal programs, the county converted itself from cotton production to agricultural production, especially cattle, eggs and milk.

The land that became Camp County originated as a territory for the Choctaw, Creek and Cherokee Indian tribes. Archaeological evidence suggests that Anglo-Europeans first traveled into the area as early as 1542. At the outset, population totals were relatively high, and it increased slightly after the Civil War. The population of Camp County eventually decreased and panned out to include a Caucasian majority from 1880 the present.

Camp County's economy recovered slightly after the Civil War with the cotton industry bringing in the most money, along with corn and other crops. The Great Depression hit the county's economy hard, despite the fact that farms had risen slowly throughout the 1920s. The depression began a long period of decline for the county's economy and population, which failed to respond to New Deal programs. Eventually, the county's economy recovered through manufacturing jobs and with the introduction of oil.

Museum/Historic Site

Text: Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association.