Homer, an incorporated community on U.S. Highway 69 six miles southeast of Lufkin, was the third of the four county seats of Angelina County. In 1858 county residents voted to make Homer the county seat instead of Jonesville and to rename Homer as Angelina. Townspeople, however, continued to call Homer by its original name, and in 1862 its name was officially changed back to Homer. In 1858 the log county courthouse was moved to Homer from Marion, which had been the first county seat. Construction on a brick courthouse at Homer began in 1861, but soon halted because of the Civil War. Only one wall was finished, and it was later razed. A two-story frame courthouse was erected at Homer in 1873. From 1858 through the early 1880s Homer was the most important center in the county and had the first established church and most of the county's major businesses as well as its first mechanical sawmill. In 1881 the Houston, East and West Texas Railway built through nearby Lufkin, Homer's chief economic rival. Stories circulated for many years that the railroad's survey crew, infuriated for being arrested in Homer after a drunken brawl, deliberately bypassed the town. A number of sources, however, contradict this story, noting that the surveyors decided to build the line through Lufkin because the route was more direct and because several leading Lufkin citizens donated large parcels of land for the project.
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Homer by the Numbers
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