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Huntsville, Texas.

Huntsville, Texas.

Welcom Sign in Huntsville, the seat of Walker County, Texas. Photograph by WhisperToMe.

Huntsville, seat of Walker County, is at the junction of Interstate highways 45 and 75, U.S. Highway 190, and Texas highways 19 and 30 at the approximate center of the county (at 30°43' N, 95°33' W). It was founded in 1835 or 1836 by Pleasant and Ephraim Gray as an Indian trading post and was named for Huntsville, Alabama, former home of the Gray family. The city originally lay within the northeast section of Montgomery County, which was organized in 1837. It was designated the seat of Walker County when the county was organized in 1846. Huntsville acquired a post office on June 9, 1837, with Ephraim Gray as the first postmaster. The Grays' trading post was well situated to trade with the Bidai, Alabama, and Coushatta Indians. Relations between these groups and the early settlers around Huntsville appear to have been peaceful. As trade along the Trinity River grew and as colonists arrived to exploit timber and rich alluvial bottomlands, Huntsville became the center of increasing activity. The 1840s and 1850s saw the arrival of a few relatively well-to-do families from the Carolinas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, along with larger numbers of yeomen. Visitors such as Gustav Dresel, N. Adolphus Sterne (a business associate of Alexander McDonald, who built the first brick building in the community), and William Bollaert recorded their impressions of early Huntsville, as did Melinda Rankin, an early resident. Huntsville was also the home of many prominent early Texans, including Sam Houston, Henderson King Yoakum, Samuel McKinney, Robert Goodloe Smither, and Anthony Martin Branch.

A number of newspapers made an appearance in Huntsville before the Civil War. They included the Montgomery Patriot (1845–46), the Texas Banner (1846–50), the Texas Medium (1852–56), and the Texas Presbyterian (1850–56). Three papers associated with the American (Know-Nothing) party appeared in quick succession in the mid-1850s: the Invincible Sun (1855?-56?), the Union Advocate (1856–57), and the Huntsville Recorder (1857). The Huntsville Item, which succeeded the Texas Banner in 1850, was still being published in 1991. During Reconstruction Huntsville was also the home of the Union Republican (1867–73).

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Charles L. Dwyer, Gerald L. Holder | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Huntsville is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Huntsville is classified as a Town


Latitude: 30.70480830
Longitude: -95.55465900

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Huntsville by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
45,941 2020 United States Census Bureau
41,453 2019 Texas Demographic Center
38,548 2010 United States Census Bureau
26,531 2000 United States Census Bureau
27,925 1990 United States Census Bureau
23,936 1980 United States Census Bureau
17,610 1970 United States Census Bureau
11,999 1960 United States Census Bureau
9,820 1950 United States Census Bureau
5,108 1940 United States Census Bureau
5,028 1930 United States Census Bureau
4,689 1920 United States Census Bureau
2,072 1910 United States Census Bureau
2,485 1900 United States Census Bureau
1,509 1890 United States Census Bureau
2,536 1880 United States Census Bureau
1,600 1870 United States Census Bureau
892 1858 Texas Demographic Center