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GENEVA, TEXAS (Sabine County). Geneva is at the junction of State Highway 21 and Farm Road 330, ten miles northwest of Hemphill in northern Sabine County. The site is considered to be the oldest one to be continuously occupied in East Texas. State Highway 21, which crosses Sabine County east to west and runs through Geneva, follows the route of the Old San Antonio Road. During the mid-1700s Antonio Gil Ibarvo established his ranch, El Lobanillo, there. When the Spanish forced residents to evacuate the area in 1773, those too ill or otherwise unable to travel remained at Ibarvo's ranch with relatives who stayed to care for them. Ibarvo turned his interest in the property over to Juan Ignacio Pifermo, who made formal application for the grant in 1794. His grant was confirmed in 1810, and he later passed the land on to his son-in-law, John Maximillian, who lived in the area into the 1840s. Although the site was continuously occupied, settlement was sparse until the 1850s, when a community began to form, apparently first called Shawnee Village and later Jimtown, after Jim Halbert and Jim Willis, two early residents. By the time the post office was established in 1884, the town was called Geneva. In 1890 it had a population of 150, a hotel, a school, two churches, and three stores. By 1925 its population had declined to 100, and it was reported at that level from 1933 to 2000. A Texas Historical Commission marker in Geneva commemorates El Lobanillo.


Robert Cecil McDaniel, Sabine County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1987). Edna McDaniel White and Blanche Findley Toole, Sabine County Historical Sketches and Genealogical Records (Beaumont, 1972).

Cecil Harper, Jr.

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Cecil Harper, Jr., "GENEVA, TX (SABINE COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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