Jefferson County
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A History of Jefferson County, Texas

From Wilderness to Reconstruction

This book was originally published in 1976 and has recently been published on Amazon in three formats: Kindle eBook, paperback, and hardcover.

Link to Amazon


Most people would agree that the repulse of an invasion fleet in 1863 and the oil eruption at Spindletop in 1901 were the two outstanding historical events in Jefferson County’s history. Each event has spawned volumes of history. In a sense, each occurrence marked the decline of an old order. The outcome of the Civil War ended slavery and witnessed the regression of the cattle industry. Gradually, the new lumber and sawmill barons replaced the stockmen as Jefferson County’s economic backbone. As the virgin forests vanished and petroleum was discovered, the process of economic transition began anew.

In this first of two planned volumes to terminate in the year 1901, the writer has purposely delayed his Master of Arts degree in order to seek for every possible source of Jefferson County’s antebellum history. There were men such as George A. Pattillo, Henry Millard, Stephen H. Everett, Dr. Frederick W. Ogden, and James R. Armstrong who were equally at home in the capitol at Austin as they were in Jefferson County, and whose lives are recorded in the ensuing chapters. The writer, however, has endeavored to chronicle the “little people” as well, for it was they who collectively laid the foundations for our metropolis, nearing one-quarter million persons, of today.

In the past, myth and legend have often prevailed, and a single, forty-minute battle has become synonymous with four years of the county’s Civil War history. It is the writer’s hope that this volume will remove much of the shroud of mystery and uncertainty which heretofore has surrounded those years prior to 1865.

First Pages

The book was written before WT had access to a computer so there are no original computer files to use as a resource to recreate the book. To republished the book, I scanned the book and published it as a "Print Replica" in Amazon terms.

NOTE: Print replicas are not fully functional as Kindle eBooks:

  1. Not compatible with Kindle e-reader (requires PC, Android, or iOS application to view).

  2. Print Replica versions are scanned images and the font size cannot be changed. Text in these books can still be selected and searched on like the fully functional Kindle versions.

The following images represent the beginning of the book in order to see what the scanned book looks like inside.

--William T. Block III (WT's son)

Copyright © 1998-2024 by W. T. Block. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, the material published on this site is copyrighted by William T. Block.
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