Buffalo, the first county seat of Henderson County, was built on a high bluff on the Trinity River. During the Republic of Texas era, a group of hunters killed buffalo in what is now Navarro County and dragged and rafted them down to the site of Buffalo. John P. Moore was operating a ferry there by 1846. That year the legislature established Henderson County from the Nacogdoches district. That area became Henderson, Kaufman, Van Zandt, Rockwall, Wood, and most of Rains counties. In 1847 Henry Jeffries donated 188 acres of land for the town of Buffalo and paid John H. Reagan to survey the townsite. A store, the county clerk's office, and several homes were built by men lured there by prospects of a port thriving on river traffic. But in 1848 the legislature reduced the size of the county and ordered a survey to determine the new center. That proved to be several miles east of Buffalo between North and South Twin creeks, and the new site was named Centerville. Voters chose it as the new county seat, but reduction of the county to its present size in 1850 and relocation of the county seat to Athens, near a new geographical center, caused both Buffalo and Centerville to wither and die.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Theo S. Daniel III | © Texas State Historical Association
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