Johnson's Bluff, also known as Sparta, was on the west bank of the Trinity River north of present-day U.S. Highway 190 in an area of Polk County that later became part of San Jacinto County. The community was named after John R. Johnson, who owned land on both sides of the river and operated a ferry by 1850. In 1839 and 1840 George Ewing served as postmaster for the Johnson's Bluff post office. The site was a river port and a candidate for the seat of government for newly organized Polk County in 1846. Although the honor went to Livingston, town lots appeared on tax rolls in 1858 and 1861, and Johnson's Bluff was listed as a landing as late as 1869. The decline of river trade and the construction of railroads through San Jacinto and Polk counties apparently doomed the settlement.
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