HORTENSE, TEXAS. Hortense is on Farm Road 942 eighty miles northwest of Beaumont in east central Polk County. The earliest white settlers in the area were Aaron Feagin and his family, who came to the site in 1857. Feagin built a store on nearby Bear Creek, and the little community which grew up around the site was often referred to as the Bear Creek settlement. In 1891 wealthy community leader John Handley secured a post office, which he named Hortense after his youngest daughter. An old railroad line from Camden, which passes north of Hortense, also indicates that some lumbering activities went on in the area. The population of Hortense, set at 346 in 1900, had fallen to twenty-five by 1925. It was still reported at that figure in 1990. By 2000 the population was twenty. Discoveries of natural gas in 1977 and 1981 at the Hortense fields are among the largest in Polk County.
A Pictorial History of Polk County, Texas, 1846–1910 (Livingston, Texas: Polk County Bicentennial Commission, 1976; rev. ed. 1978).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Robert Wooster, "HORTENSE, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnh42), accessed December 19, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.