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. Read more About Us

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In June 1927, W.T. Carter, Jr. opened an airfield named after himself through his company, Houston Airport Corporation. Ten years later the City of Houston, using federal Public Works Administration funds, purchased W.T. Carter Field and renamed it…

Making use of a nearby railroad track, Thomas Temple founded the Southern Pine Lumber Company (SPLC), and with it Diboll, in 1894. Named after J.C. Diboll, who sold seven thousand acres of east Texas forest to Temple one year earlier, the town…

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.…

Samuel Walker Houston (1871?-1945) was the son of Joshua Houston and Sylvester Baker, two former African American slaves who worked for General Sam Houston in Huntsville, Texas. During the 1880s and 1890s, he attended the nation's leading black…

Born on July 10, 1882, to James and Sarah Hogg in Mineola, Texas, Ima Hogg watched her father rise to the pinnacle of Texas politics before turning his hand to business. She became the lady of the house at thirteen, following her mother’s early…

During the Great Depression, the U.S. Government funded a special Federal Writers' Project to support authors like John Steinbeck and Ralph Ellison. As part of this effort, the government also paid interviewers to record the personal stories of…