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  • Francis Marion Clayton (1857 - 1894)
  • Bernice Wadsworth "Bennie" Heasley-Roe (1864 - 1914)
    3rd wife of William Frank Roe
  • Alexander McDade Sale (1890 - 1972)
    Son of Alexander C. Sale and Annie Rankin. Married first to Annie Lou Callender. Children: Rosa Lee Sale Arvie R. Sale Married second to Myrtle Annice. He was a rig builder, 82 years old, married, ...
  • Thomas Jester McKinnon (1908 - 1976)
  • Mary Elizabeth Eskridge (1841 - 1900)
    Mary Elizabeth Eskridge (Smith) From She was married to Dr. C. P. Eskridge April 15, 1857. From this happy union there sprang five children, four of whom survive her. Both sons and daughters came ...

Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Rusk County, Texas.

The county is named for Thomas Jefferson Rusk, a secretary of war of the Republic of Texas.

Prior to Texas annexation in 1845, the land while from time to time occupied by Caddoan peoples, was generally unpopulated until 1819 when Cherokee Indians, led by The Bowl settled in what is now Rusk County. The Treaty of Bowles Village on February 23, 1836, between the Republic of Texas and the Cherokee and twelve affiliated tribes, gave parts of western Rusk County along with parts of today's Gregg and Van Zandt counties, in addition to the whole areas of Cherokee and Smith counties to the tribes. They remained on these lands until the Cherokee War in the summer of 1839. Thus, the Cherokee were driven out of Rusk County only to return in 1844 and 1845 with the purchase of 10,000 acres of land by Benjamin Franklin Thompson a white man married to a Cherokee. This established the Mount Tabor Indian Community, some six miles south of present-day Kilgore that later spread to incorporate areas near Troup, Arp and Overton, Texas. Originally organized as a part of Nacogdoches County, Rusk was established as its own county by the Congress of the Republic of Texas on January 16, 1843. By 1850, it was the second-most populous county in Texas of the 78 counties that had been organized at that time, according to the 1850 census. Rusk County's population was 8,148 then; it was surpassed only by Harrison County with 11,822 people.

With the discovery of oil in Joinerville in October 1930, an oil boom began that caused county population to nearly double during the next decade and caused dramatic changes in the county towns. Rusk is one of the five counties that are part of the East Texas Oil Field, whose production has been a major part of the economy since that time.

America's worst school disaster happened in Rusk County in 1937, when nearly 300 people, most of them children, were killed in a natural gas explosion at the London Independent School District (which has since consolidated into West Rusk County Consolidated Independent School District).

Adjacent Counties

Cities & Communities

  • Brachfield
  • Concord
  • Easton (part)
  • Harmony Hill
  • Henderson (County Seat)
  • Joinerville
  • Kilgore (part)
  • Laird Hill
  • Lake Cherokee (part)
  • Laneville
  • Leverett's Chapel
  • Minden
  • Mount Enterprise
  • New London
  • New Salem
  • Overton (part)
  • Price
  • Red Level
  • Reklaw (part)
  • Selman City
  • Stewart
  • Tatum (part)
  • Turnertown



Genealogy Trails

Nat'l Reg. of Hist. Places