Jacksonville is an incorporated town on U.S. Highway 69 in northeastern Cherokee County. It began on the east bank of Gum Creek in 1847. That year Jackson Smith built a house and a blacksmith shop in the area; he was appointed postmaster when the Gum Creek post office was authorized in 1848. Soon after, Dr. William Jackson built an office near Smith's shop. In 1850 Smith had a townsite and square surveyed near his home. Since the townsite was on Jackson Smith's land and Dr. Jackson was among the first to build inside the boundaries of the survey, the name Jacksonville was chosen by local citizens for the new town. The post office name was changed from Gum Creek to Jacksonville in June 1850. In 1872 the International-Great Northern Railroad was built through Cherokee County and missed Jacksonville by a few miles. Jacksonville inhabitants worked out an agreement with railroad officials to survey a new townsite on the railroad. In the fall of 1872 most of the original Jacksonville was moved two miles east to the new site on the tracks.
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