Jefferson, known variously as East Jefferson or Lower Town of Jefferson, was on Cow Bayou in a part of Jefferson County that later became southeastern Orange County. This settlement was the first seat of government for Jefferson County and in 1837 had some twenty houses and scattered farms. The next year, however, Beaumont became the Jefferson County seat. Subsequently Jefferson rapidly declined, though in 1845 Benjamin P. Gates filed a town plat for Jefferson, to be located on the northwestern bank of the Sabine River, and in 1850 he filed for a "New and Lower Surrevey." There is still some debate regarding the precise location of the townsite; some observers place it at or near the site of Bridge City and others closer to what is now Orange.
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.
Robert Wooster | © Texas State Historical Association
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