County Seat: Crockett • County Population: 23,732
Precinct 1 Roger Dickey
Precinct 2 Willie Kitchen
Precinct 3 Pat Perry
Precinct 4 Kennon Kellum
The Houston County Courthouse was erected in 1939 in a Modern style coupled with several Art Deco elements, as designed by architect Blum E. Hester of Houston. The stone edifice is the fifth capitol to serve the oldest county in the Lone Star State.
Houston was the first new county created under the nine-year Republic of Texas on June 12, 1837, and was named for Sam Houston, a president of the Republic of Texas and governor of Texas; the county seat of Crockett honors David Crockett, who perished in the Alamo.
Known as the Gateway to the Texas Forest Country, the area is home to the Davy Crockett National Forest, which houses 160,000 acres of woodlands, streams, recreational areas, and wildlife habitat, and the popular Ratcliff Lake National Recreation Area. Houston County Lake has been touted as one of the top bass lakes in Texas, not to mention one of the most beautiful.
The area boasts some 265 National Historic Landmarks, including the first Spanish mission in East Texas.
The Visitors Center and Museum is located in Crockett’s restored 1909 Union Pacific Depot. Tourists are invited to stop by the spring where Davy Crockett camped on his way to the Alamo, or travel the original trans-Texas corridor, the 300-year-old El Camino Real de los Tejas which is now a National Historic Trail.
Museum homes include the 1854 Monroe-Crook House, an elegant Greek Revival residence constructed in 1854 by a grand nephew of President James Monroe, and the 1891 Downes-Aldrich House. Completed in the 1890s by J. E. Downes, this impressive two-and-a-half-story frame home combines Queen Anne and Eastlake styles.
From legendary blues on Camp Street to the renowned Salmon Lake Bluegrass Festival, Houston County is the Live Music Capital of East Texas. Other special events include the World Championship Fiddlers Festival, Texas Forest Country Western Swing Festival, and Dennis Ivey’s Texas Opry, not to mention the Grapeland Peanut Festival and the Lovelady Lovefest.
The Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce’s largest and most exciting event is the annual Christmas in Crockett festival, which takes place the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The 32nd Christmas in Crockett is set for Nov. 23 on the town square.