Swartwout (Swartout) is on Lake Livingston and Farm Road 1988, seventy-five miles north of Houston in western Polk County. In 1838 James Morgan, Arthur Garner, and Thomas Bradley laid out a town on the east bank of the Trinity River, calling their community Swartwout in honor of New York financier Samuel Swartwout, a backer of several early Texas colonists. Sam Houston was one of the early shareholders. A Trinity River ferry and landing were established there, along with a hotel and warehouses for cotton and corn awaiting river transport. The Masonic Lodge established the first school in what would become Polk County at Swartwout in the early 1840s. A cotton gin and stage station further increased Swartwout's importance to the regional economy.
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