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 in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, on August 13, 1802, John Slater Besser was a first generation American. His father, Jacob Besser, was a native of Heidelberg, German, and his mother Susannah (Tinsley) Besser hailed from London, England.…

In 1863, Dr. W.W. Manning, a native of Monroe, Louisiana, constructed a small sawmill in Angelina County close to the Neches River. The enterprise proved at least moderately successful, and Manning expanded his business in 1885, adding one of the…

The statue represents the doctors who worked night and day to serve the public between 1835 and 1940. The Country Doctor was made in the likeness of Dr. George F. Middlebrook Sr, whose decade-long career began in 1911, but the statue does not…

Born in 1822, Joshua Houston was raised as a slave on the Lea plantation near Marion, Alabama. When his master, Temple Lea, died in 1834, ownership of Joshua was transferred to Temple's daughter, Margaret Lea. There seems to have been little…