The New Deal in East Texas

Tour curated by: The East Texas History Team

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created a series of New Deal programs intended to bring relief to millions of impoverished Americans. This tour highlights the profound impact that the New Deal had in East Texas. It highlights the work of agencies like the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Public Works Administration, and the Works Progress Administration. In addition, it showcases reforms enacted under the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the Rural Electrification Act, and other federal legislation.

Locations for Tour

Kilgore, Texas, is located 120 miles east of Dallas in south-central Gregg County. Founded in 1872 by cotton planters, the town was named by the International-Great Northern Railroad in honor of Constantine Buckley Kilgore, a U.S. Representative from…

Located 125 miles east of Dallas, the city of Longview is known for its rolling hills and scenic areas. The town was incorporated in 1871, after Ossamus Hitch Methvin Sr. sold one hundred acres of land to the Southern Pacific Railroad for the…

In a 48 year career as a Congressman from Bonham, Texas, seventeen of which he served as Speaker of the House, Sam Rayburn’s proudest accomplishment was passing the Rural Electrification Act. Rayburn was an outspoken supporter of President Franklin…

Electric light came to the farmers of Upshur County, Texas in July 1938. Citizens of the county and surrounding rural areas created the Upshur Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (URECC) in 1937. They applied for a loan of $140,000 from the Rural…

Davy Crockett may not have killed a bear at three years old as he claimed, but he still was the “King of the Wild Frontier.” Therefore, it is not surprising that in 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt named a new national forest after the…

During the 1930s, many farmers in East Texas noticed that their crop yields were steadily decreasing. Some of the problem was caused by the fact that farmers insisted on planting their crops in straight rows, producing the perfect environment for…

Huntsville State Park is a scenic 2000-acre recreational area that adjoins Sam Houston National Forest. The park offers a venue for camping, hiking, biking, and fishing around Lake Raven. Before European colonization, the park region was inhabited…