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Early community incorporated


On this day in 1838, the pioneer community of Zavala was incorporated. Zavala, also known as Muster Point, was twelve miles northwest of Jasper and eighty-five miles north of Beaumont in northwestern Jasper County. The town was founded in 1834 and named for the empresario Lorenzo de Zavala, the original grantee of the land that was to become Jasper County. The town of Zavala, situated on land owned by Thomas B. Huling, was probably laid out by George Washington Smyth, a prominent Jasper County surveyor. Zavala was on the Old Beef Trail but was dependent on the Angelina River for trade. The town became a depot for surplus agricultural crops and imports. It also served as the seat of government for Bevil's Settlement and home of some thirty to forty families. A courthouse was built in 1838. A disastrous fire swept the town during the 1840s, and the courthouse, homes, and almost all records were destroyed. Huling sold most of his interest in the town, plus almost 5,000 acres of Jasper County land, to Jerich Durkee of London, England, in 1847. In return, Huling received $1,000 in cash and 5,000 "tin boxes of Green Mountain Vegitable Ointment." The little community declined rapidly thereafter. A marker erected in 1936 at Hamilton's Cemetery commemorates the abandoned settlement.

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