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Jacksonville
Chamber of Commerce

City of Jacksonville Official Website


MISSION STATEMENT
The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce’s purpose is to retain, expand and attract business and community development for increased job growth and a better quality of life.

LOCATION

Jacksonville, Texas is located 120 miles east-southeast of Dallas, 180 miles north of Houston and 25 miles south of Tyler. It is also located on US 175, US 69 and US 79.

Jacksonville is home to over 14,000 residents, covering an area of 12.8 square miles and is centrally located in the piney woods of East Texas. There are five motels, thirty restaurants, four bed and breakfasts, and two medical facilities. The whole family will enjoy the many activity and entertainment areas that Jacksonville has to offer. Lake Jacksonville, covering 1,365 surface acres, is just five miles from downtown and has numerous campgrounds with full RV hookups, picnic tables, and enclosed shelters.

So, whether it is an overnight shopping spree or a week’s vacation, you’ll love the many sights and sounds Jacksonville, Texas has to offer. Come visit our beautiful countryside’s area lakes, antique shops and make plans to attend all of our special activities throughout the year.


HISTORY
Jacksonville, Texas probably is the only community anywhere whose founding resulted from an Indian massacre. On October 5, 1838, members of the Killough family were attacked by a group of renegade Indians led by one named The Tail. Eighteen were either killed or taken captive.

General Thomas J. Rusk sent Texas army units into the area to search for the outlaws. A soldier named Jackson Smith, a resident from Jacksonville, Illinois, before coming to Texas, was scouting the area.

He discovered a site on Gum Creek which he called “one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen,” and determined to return and establish a home there. He did return in 1847, building a dwelling and blacksmith shop of logs and establishing a post office. He called the community Gum Creek.

Settlers soon began arriving, including a Dr. Jackson, and a thriving community developed. Residents decided the town needed another name. At a town meeting, they decided on Jacksonville. They thought this appropriate, since the name figured prominently in the origin of the community. M.L. Earle later wrote that there once were 46 businesses there.

Growth of the community halted abruptly when the Civil War erupted, many of the young men joining the Confederate Army. Following the war, it was never the same.

In 1872, the International Railroad (now Union Pacific) came through, but missed the community by about two miles. Railroad officials laid out a town site about two miles northeast, designated the depot as the center, and began selling lots. Citizens of Jacksonville determined to move their town en toto, which they did. The original town occupied 200 acres.

In its new location, Jacksonville grew rapidly. In 1882 the Cotton Belt Railroad was built through Tyler to Lufkin. In 1902, the T. & N.O. came through, eventually connecting Dallas and Beaumont. Jacksonville was a terminal, with a roundhouse, yards and repair shops. Jacksonville became a railroad town.

Jacksonville became the “Tomato Capital of the World” with some 4,000 carlots being shipped in peak seasons. The arrival of WWII caused the demise of the tomato deal.

BUSINESS COMMUNITY
Jacksonville’s heritage is derived from an agrarian economy where peaches, tomatoes and timber were the predominant industries. Today, the Cherokee County economy has diversified into plastics, tool, die and mold manufacturing, timber production, coil production and bedding plant operations.

These industry groups are made up of approximately 70 businesses in Jacksonville.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS
MARCH
Junior Livestock Show

APRIL
Mud Creek Off Road Mud Nationals

MAY
Jacksonville Fiesta

JUNE
Tomato Fest

JULY
4th Of July Fireworks On The Lake
Tops In Texas Rodeo
Western Week

OCTOBER
Jacksonville Music Jam
Mud Creek Off Road Park Mud Stock
Annual Hay Show & Sale

DECEMBER
Old Fashioned Christmas

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