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LIVINGSTON, TEXAS

Polk County Seat, East Texas

Highways 59, 146 and 190
FM 1316
37 miles E of Huntsville
75 miles N of Houston
67 miles S of Nacogdoches
Population: 5,344 (2010) 5,433 (2000)

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History in a Pecan Shell

Known originally as Springfield in 1839, the town was renamed after Livingston, Tennessee, hometown of Moses Choate, the man who donated land for the townsite when Polk County was formed in 1846.

A brief timeline of selected Livingston events:

1902: Fire destroys much of downtown - town is incorporated
1917: Highway 35 (59) constructed
1932: Oil discovered 10 miles S of town
1936: City limits extended
1968: Lake Livingston is developed

Livingston population estimates:
1880: 135
1900: 1,024
1925: 900
1960: 3,300
1980: 5,000
1990: 5,019
1923 Polk County courthouse, Livingston Texas
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2006
Polk County courthouse
Livingston Tx Carter Lumber Engine
Livingston Carter Lumber Engine
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2004
Fain Theater in Livingston
TE photo, 2001

Native Daughter

  • Tennessee Williams' Texas Director by Bob Bowman ("All Things Historical" column)
    Without the interest of an East Texas woman, American theater icon Tennessee Williams might still be writing high school plays in a small town.... At the time of her death in 1955, Margo Jones and Tennessee Williams had changed the face of theater not only in Texas, but nationally as well. Margo was buried in her hometown cemetery at Livingston and on April 26 the Texas Historical Commission and Polk County Historical Commission placed a state marker on her grave. more
  • Livingston Texas Forum
  • Subject: Livingston Texas Election Night
    Back in the early 50s' when I was quite young, I remember going to the courthouse on election day, and watching them put the election results on a large tote board. The reason for this was that not everyone had access to a television back then - especially poorer people. Election day (any election - local, state, or national) was a big thing then. It seemed everyone in the entire county was there discussing this and that about their favorite candidate, and some would get in fairly heated arguments. The merchants there in town loved it, as it was a time when the men would bring their wives, and they would shop in the stores there in downtown Livingston. During National elections, people would stay around the courthouse 'til quite late - waiting to find out who won the election. Respectfully, Thomas R. McIntyre, March 10, 2006

  • There is one interesting fact that seldom makes the rounds when people talk of Livingston; and that is that the first golf course for Livingston was on my grand father's farm which was just north of Livingston, about 2 1/2 miles north on old Hwy. 35. Such early luminaries of the city of Livingston such as Mr. Gerlac, Mr. H.B. Davis and various and a sundry other folks would go there to play a round or two of golf. My father A.J. McIntyre would caddy for them. This was some time in the mid 1930s. Also if you can get some of the older generation of indians to tell you about it, my grand father would hire them and pay them what was then a decent wage to work on his farm. He would send my uncle Thomas to the reservation to pick them up late on Sunday, and had a place for them to stay the week. He then would drive them back to the reservation on Friday night. This was a time when no one would hire an Indian, but he did! - Thomas Mcintyre, March 06, 2006
  • Livingston, Texas
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