Buena Vista is near the junction of Farm roads 1645 and 2026, twelve miles northwest of Center in northwestern Shelby County. The community was originally called Bucksnort when it began to form in the early 1830s; it was renamed Buena Vista when it received a post office in 1848. Local accounts suggest that the town was either named for the beautiful local scenery or in honor of the battle of Buena Vista, Gen. Zachary Taylor's victory in the Mexican War. The townsite was on the John Richards land grant and was donated by a relative of Richards, known locally as "Granny" Richards. There were some beautiful oak trees on the property, and one of the provisions of the deed was that these trees were never to be cut. In 1884 the town comprised a population estimated at 300 and a gin, a gristmill, a school, and two churches. The next year the Houston, East and West Texas Railway bypassed Buena Vista after the town refused to donate $85,000 to the railroad to have the track's route altered. The town subsequently began to decline, as Timpson to the northeast began to grow. In 1988 Buena Vista consisted of a church and a few widely scattered houses.