Jefferson, Marion County, Texas

Jefferson, Marion County, Texas

The Historic Post Office in the city of Jefferson is one of the most iconic landmarks in Marion County, Texas. Photograph by Renelibrary.

Jefferson, the county seat of Marion County, is at the junction of U.S. Highway 59 and State Highway 49, on Big Cypress Creek and Caddo Lake in the south central portion of the county. It was named for Thomas Jefferson when it was founded in the early 1840s by Allen Urquhart and Daniel Alley. In the late 1830s Urquhart, who immigrated to Texas from North Carolina, received a headright on a bend in the creek; he laid out a townsite there around 1842. At about the same time Alley obtained a 586-acre parcel adjacent to Urquhart's survey and laid out additional streets that became known as Alley's Addition. In contrast to most other town planners of the time, who arranged their plans around a central square, Urquhart laid out the town along Big Cypress Creek, with its streets running at right angles to the bayou. Alley's streets, on the other hand, followed the points of the compass. The intersection of the two plans gave the town its distinctive V-shaped layout. As the westernmost outpost for navigation on the Red River, Jefferson quickly developed into an important riverport. The first steamboat, the Llama, reached Jefferson in late 1843 or early 1844. A post office was established in 1846, and the town was incorporated in March 20, 1848, though because of various delays a city charter was not adopted until 1850. In the same year the town adopted the aldermanic form of city government. In 1846 Jefferson became the county seat of Cass County, upon that county's separation from Bowie County, and served as such until Linden became county seat in 1852. A Methodist church was organized in 1844, followed by the Presbyterian church between 1846 and 1850 and the Baptist church in 1855. The first newspaper, the Jefferson Democrat, was printed in 1847, and the following year the Jimplecute, the town's longest-running and most influential paper, made its appearance.

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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Jefferson by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
2,037 2019 Texas Demographic Center
2,106 2010 Texas Demographic Center
2,024 2000 Texas Demographic Center
2,199 1990 Texas Demographic Center
2,643 1980 Texas Demographic Center
2,866 1970 Texas Demographic Center
3,082 1960 Texas Demographic Center
3,164 1950 Texas Demographic Center
2,797 1940 Texas Demographic Center
2,329 1930 Texas Demographic Center
2,549 1920 Texas Demographic Center
2,515 1910 Texas Demographic Center
2,850 1900 Texas Demographic Center
3,072 1890 Texas Demographic Center
3,260 1880 Texas Demographic Center
4,190 1870 Texas Demographic Center
988 1860 Texas Demographic Center