Stephen F. Austin State University

Hopkins County

Located in Northeast Texas, Hopkins County lies on the northern border of the Sulphur River. Like much of East Texas, the Caddo Indians inhabited this area until they faced expulsion by the Cherokee Indians. Military officials from the State initiated the migration of the Cherokees in 1839, whereupon Texas citizens and others from southern states established townships in the area. In 1846, the Texas Legislature partitioned the land from neighboring Lamar and Nacogdoches counties and establish Hopkins County, whose namesake was David Hopkins. The original county seat was in Tarrant until the Texas Legislature approved Sulphur Springs as the official county seat.

Hopkins County was agricultural, and grew and corn, and wheat. Unlike other areas in the South, cotton and slavery were not important sources of income, although the county did secede from the Union in 1861. After the war, the economy rebounded from the Civil War depression with the introduction of cotton production and emergence of more farmland in the 1890s, which stabilized the economy until the 1930s. Hopkins County's economy collapsed under the Great Depression, with a sharp decrease in tenant farming. Yet, the county recovered faster from the depression than did other places. Through taxes levied by the city, a Carnation Milk Company plant began operations in 1937. Along with the advent of roads and vehicles, farmers sold their dairy byproducts in neighboring cities and counties, which allowed the state to prosper off dairy sales into the 1990s.


Historical Association/Organization

Museum/Historic Site

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