Etoile is on State Highway 103 and Farm Road 226, between the Angelina and the Attoyac rivers twenty miles south of Nacogdoches and nineteen miles east of Lufkin in southeastern Nacogdoches County. In 1876 the Reverend James Sims, a Baptist minister, built a church at Macedonia Springs, and a town called Macedonia developed around the church. The community was sparsely settled in 1876. Roads were few and in very poor shape. Steamboats from Beaumont docked at Brown's Ferry on the Angelina River just outside the community until 1881. The town received its mail by horseback from nearby Cherino. By 1882 the community had grown a little, and that year residents applied for a post office, which they received in 1886 by paying for weekly deliveries of mail from Nacogdoches and by renaming the town. They chose the name Etoile, which means "star" in French. In 1897 Etoile had the Fisher and Crown General Store. By 1915 the town had a population of 300, telephone service, a post office, a gin, two general stores, and other businesses. By 1925 the community's population had dropped to 100, where it remained into the 1940s. The local rail line stopped serving the town in 1950, and the population dropped to a low of fifty. Between the late 1950s and 1965 the Sam Rayburn Dam and Reservoir was built in the area. During the 1980s Etoile comprised a population of seventy, a few stores, and several bait houses, marinas, boat stalls, and campgrounds. It was mainly a retirement community. Some residents raised beef cattle and chickens. In the early 1990s Etoile reported a population of seventy, with seven businesses and a post office. The population remained the same in 2000.
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.
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