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OAKHURST, TX

OAKHURST, TEXAS. Oakhurst, at the junction of U.S. Highway 190 and Farm Road 946, eighty-three miles north of Houston in northern San Jacinto County, was named for the community's location on a wooded hill, or hurst, in a grove of oaks. In 1899 or 1900 the Columbia Lumber Company established a sawmill at Oakhurst, which had a population of 116 in 1900. A commissary, a drugstore, a barbershop, and office buildings were added, and a post office was established. The old tram railroad connection with the International-Great Northern line in Walker County was incorporated and converted to a common carrier known as the Trinity Valley Railway Company. By 1908 the Palmetto Lumber Company had purchased the Oakhurst mill. After the company consolidated its operations at the new site, the population of Oakhurst was 600. The Palmetto Company sold the Oakhurst mill in 1911 and purchased the Foster Company plant at Elmina, Walker County. A bank was opened at Oakhurst to handle Liberty bonds purchased by lumber workers from 1916 to 1919. The Oakhurst sawmill shut down in 1930, and with it the commissary, the drugstore, and many social centers closed as well. The Trinity Valley Railway, with headquarters at Oakhurst, followed suit in 1936. A Civilian Conservation Corps camp was set up in Oakhurst in 1933, providing some 250 youths with work and educational opportunities during the Great Depression. Although the community's population fell below 200 by the late 1940s, discoveries of natural gas and the damming of Lake Livingston brought numerous changes to Oakhurst. Its residents voted in favor of incorporation in 1980; the 1984 population, which also included the community once known as Snowtown, was reported as 152. In 1990 the community's population was 219. The population was 230 in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Ruth Hansbro, History of San Jacinto County (M.A. thesis, Sam Houston State Teachers College, 1940). San Jacinto County Historical Commission, Dim Trails and Blurred Footprints: A History of San Jacinto County (Dallas: Taylor, 1982). San Jacinto Times, October 9, 1914, September 30, 1921.

Robert Wooster

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Robert Wooster, "OAKHURST, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlo03), accessed August 21, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.