SPURGER, TEXAS. Spurger is two miles from the Neches River and twelve miles from Woodville in southeastern Tyler County. The first area settler was Ephraim Thompson, who in 1834 applied for land in Lorenzo de Zavala's colony and received a league on the Neches River near the later location of Spurger. The town was named after a family of early landowners. As early as 1854 a Methodist minister was riding the so-called "alligator circuit" with a stop near the site of present Spurger. He would shoot alligators and other game and leave the skins to be dried at the homes of those for whom he preached. On his return trip, perhaps three months later, he would pick up the dried skins to sell to further his ministry and feed his family. A Baptist church existed in Spurger as early as 1855, and a Mormon congregation existed by 1900. Numerous other denominations, including Primitive Baptist, Assembly of God, and Pentecostal churches, have existed in the town. In 1874 a Masonic lodge, Snow River Lodge No. 385, was chartered at Spurger; it was still in operation in 1986. Snow River was the early name given the Neches by the Hasinai Indians, and the name has persisted as a tag for the Spurger area in general. The Spurger area has had a school since 1859. The post office was established in 1881; in 1986 Spurger received mail on a rural route from Woodville. The town declined after a high of 500 in the 1920s, and the post office was closed. The population fell to 300 by 1930, 250 in the 1940s, and 120 in the 1950s and 1960s. The figure rose again by 1986 to 472, where it remained through 2000.
Vivian C. Jordan, A Brief History of the Spurger Area, 1839–1976 (Spurger, Texas, 1976).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Megan Biesele, "Spurger, TX," accessed February 12, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hls75.
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