History of Upshur County
Upshur County is located in the Piney Wood’s in Northeast Texas. Our total population is 35,291 with 556 square miles served by 966 miles of roads. There are 4 incorporated cities within Upshur County and 7 Independent School Districts.
Upshur County was organized by an act of the Texas legislature on July 13, 1846. At the time of the organization it was composed of all of what is now Upshur County, Camp County and part of Gregg County north of the Sabine River. Upshur County was originally part of Nacogdoches County, but later when Harrison County was organized, it was included in that county, and therefore all of Upshur County was detached by Harrison County.
Upshur County was named after Able Parker Upshur who was born in Virginia on June 17, 1791. After serving in several minor offices in the Virginia Legislature, in 1826 he became a Justice of the Supreme Court in Virginia.
In 1841 President John Tyler appointed him Secretary of the Navy and then in June 1843, President Tyler appointed him Secretary of the State, and it was here that he laid ground work for the annexation of Texas to the Union.
On February 28, 1844 he was killed in an explosion of the "Peacemaker," a new cannon on the Battleship Princeton, so when the legislature organized this county they requested that it be named Upshur.
Our county seat is Gilmer, located on the Old Cherokee Trace, a trail used by the Cherokee Indians in their travels. Sam Houston, when he lived with the Cherokee, traveled the Trace through here. The location of Gilmer was determined by a flood on Little Cypress Creek. First located near the creek, residents decided to change locations because of frequent floods. On the day of the election a flood kept voters north of the creek from getting to the polling place, so the south side voters won.
100 W. Tyler
Gilmer, TX 75644
Monday through Friday
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