Stephen F. Austin State University

Trinity County

Trinity County is located in southeastern Texas between the Davy Crockett and Sam Houston National Forests Groveton is the county seat. Atakapan Indians lived in the area until Anglos expelled them from the territory in the 1820s. Trinity County was a part of the Nacogdoches District. In 1850, Texas partitioned land from Houston County and formed Trinity County. Groveton became the county seat in 1882.

Prior to the Civil War, Trinity County was a borderland between East Texas and the rest of Texas. Farmers maintained agricultural production of corn, cotton, and tobacco. Merchants utilized the Trinity River to sell their items. In addition to farming, plantation agricultural systems developed over the decade, which meant an increase of slavery. Trinity County seceded from the Union and faced the harsh economic circumstances of decreased land values, loss of property, and devalued crop prices.

During the next sixty years, Trinity County's economy recovered and witnessed many changes. The Great Northern Railroad laid tracks in 1872 and opened several lumber companies in the 1880s, which added to the overall value to the land. During this period, farmers increased their production of corn, cotton, and wheat, but the timber industry began to close down because of overlogging. New Deal programs during the Great Depression helped to stimulate the economy and bring jobs to the people who did not leave prior to the 1930s. The lumber industry recovered after World War II, and oil profits stabilized into the 1980s.

City/State/Federal Agency

Historical Association/Organization

Museum/Historic Site


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