Herrington, Joseph (1823–1889)

By: Christopher Long

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1995

Updated: April 20, 2016

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Joseph Herrington, jurist, county official, and early Angelina County settler, was born on November 14, 1823, in Monroe County, Alabama, the son of William and Anne Herrington. In 1842 the family immigrated to the Republic of Texas and settled on Hanes Creek, twelve miles from Marion in Nacogdoches County. In 1846 the Texas legislature appointed Herrington and several others to survey the boundary line of the new Angelina County and to locate the county seat. In the first county election in July of that year, Herrington was elected chief justice of the county (i.e., county judge). Although only twenty-two at the time, he was made president of the county commissioners and played an important role in molding the county government and in overseeing construction of the first county courthouse in Marion. He was also instrumental in building county roads and in establishing the county school system. He served five terms as chief justice—1846–48, 1850–52, 1855–58, 1866–68, and 1880–84. He never married. He became a master Mason on November 2, 1850, and received the royal arch degree on September 15, 1851. He died on March 3, 1889, near Homer and was buried in the Herrington Cemetery, ten miles south of Huntington in Angelina County.

Angelina County Historical Survey Committee, Land of the Little Angel: A History of Angelina County, Texas, ed. Bob Bowman (Lufkin, Texas: Lufkin Printing, 1976). Robert Bruce Blake Research Collection, Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University; Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; Texas State Archives, Austin; Houston Public Library, Houston. Effie Mattox Boon, The History of Angelina County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1937). Richard W. Haltom, History and Description of Angelina County, Texas (Lufkin, Texas, 1888; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1969). Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin.


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

Christopher Long, “Herrington, Joseph,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 18, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/herrington-joseph.

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January 1, 1995
April 20, 2016