In central East Texas, the contours of the Angelina and Neches Rivers shape the natural borders of Cherokee County, and the landscapeof fertile soil and dense timberthat defines this region of the Lone Star state is as rich as its history. Now home to the cities of Jacksonville, Rusk, Alto, and their outlying communities, the area was once settled by the 12,000-year-old Clovis culture. Later, the Caddo Nation prospered here until European settlement and expansion brought the land into dispute on all sides. Despite efforts toward peace, violent instability culminated in the Killough Massacre on October 5, 1838, prompting the Cherokee War of 1839 and the eventual expulsion of the Cherokee from the area, the people who would become the county’s namesake. Agricultural and economic developments over the next century have helped transform Cherokee County into an unspoiled destination for “winter Texans,” while its historical significance and one-of-a-kind charm remain well guarded by the more than 45,000 citizens who call it home today.
About the Author
The Cherokee County Historical Commission is dedicated to preserving the history of their unique community. In this volume, they have gathered more than 200 vintage images from civic archives, private collections, and other local resources to illustrate the compelling history of the county and help to preserve its legacy for years to come.