Organization of Upshur County  


The County  was named for Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur. On 28 February 1844,  Abel P. Upshur was one of several dignitaries killed when a cannon exploded on board the steamer USS Princeton.


Approved, 27th April, 1846


. AN ACT. To organize the County of Upshur.

 Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That all the territory of the counties of Harrison and Nacogdoches comprised within the following limits, to wit: beginning at the south east corner of George Martin's survey, and north corner of R. M. Watkin's survey, on Big Cypress bayou; thence, due south to the Sabine river, near the south east corner of J. Ferguson's labor; thence, up the Sabine river with its meanders, to a point one mile above the mouth of Harris' creek in Nacogdoches county; thence, due north to the dry fork of Big Cypress bayou; thence, with said dry fork and Big Cypress to the place of beginning, be, and the same is hereby created into a new county, to be known and called by the name of Upshur.

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That the citizens of said county be, and they are hereby invested with all the rights, privileges and immunities, belonging to, and of right appertaining to citizens of other counties, except the right of having a separate land district, and except also the right of separate representation, in which respects they shall remain as they now are, until other-wise provided for.

Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That George B. Medlin, Col. Edwards, John Stephens, Betsil, - Brooks and Henry Patrick, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners, to select two eligible places for the county seat of said county, neither of which shall be more than five miles from the centre thereof, which places shall be submitted to public election, at such time and places as may be directed by law; and the place receiving the majority of the legal votes cast at said election, shall be the county seat of said county, and shall be known and called by the name of Gilmer; and the said commissioners are hereby empowered to purchase land, not to exceed one hundred and sixty acres in quantity, and to receive by donation, any amount for said county, for the purpose of erecting public buildings and defraying other necessary expenses.

Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, That all civil suits which may have been commenced against any of the citizens of the said county of Upshur,.in either of the counties from which said county is taken, shall after the said county is properly organized, be transferred together with all the papers thereunto belonging, to the proper officer of said county of Upshur, and shall be carried on in the same manner as if continued in the county in which they were instituted.

 Sec. 5. Be it further enacted, That the inhabitants of said county of Upshur, at present embraced within the limits of the county of Harrison, shall pay a proportionate part of the debt due, and owing by the county Harrison, at the time of the final passage of this act.

Sec. 6. Be it further enacted, That this act take effect from and after its passage. Approved, 27th April, 1846.


Source: Gammel's The Laws of Texas

Image: Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.