East Texas History

East Texas History is a free mobile app and web platform that places the past at your fingertips. Designed by the History Department at Sam Houston State University, the project seeks to highlight the distinctive people, places, and events that have shaped East Texas. Viewers may learn about the region through our interactive, map-based interface that includes historical stories, photographs, and oral interviews. Follow our progress on Twitter or connect with us on Facebook to learn more about the project or to become a participating author.

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Born on a farm near Tadmor, Texas, on February 26, 1881, Nat Patton was the third child of Francis Marion and Elizabeth Patton, who had a total of eighteen children. His father, Francis, briefly moved the family to Brown County, Texas, in the…

Established in 1881 by the American Baptist Home Mission Society, Bishop College was named in honor of Nathan Bishop, a white attorney and Society board member who supported the creation of a Baptist college for African Americans in Texas. The…

During World II, Nazis not only threatened Europe, but held some influence in East Texas where thousands of prisoners of war (POWs) were held. During the war, the United States held nearly half a million Axis POWs and Texas housed roughly ten…

Today the former site of the Houston prisoner of war camp is located on the site of a younger though historical building in its own right, the Merchant and Manufacturer’s building. If not for a state historical marker placed in 1965, there would be…

Bernadine Oliphint was born in Huntsville, Texas, in 1933 to Tom and Catherine Bolden Oliphint. She was one of eleven children and was raised in the Smith Hill community. Both of her parents were educated and taught school prior to the birth of…

Best known as the author of the first "History of Texas," Henderson Yoakum was an accomplished soldier, attorney, and politician. Born in 1810 in Claiborne County, Tennessee, Yoakum graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He…