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    RUSK, TEXAS

    Cherokee County Seat, East Texas
    Highways 69, 84 and 110
    FMs 23, 241, 343 and 768
    14 miles SE of Jacksonville
    31 miles E of Palestine
    37 miles NW of Nacogdoches
    120 miles SE of Dallas

    Population 5,085 (2000) 4,805 (1990)

    Rusk, Texas Area Hotels
    Jacksonville Hotels | Palestine Hotels

    Watermelon in Rusk, Texas 1950
    "Melons grown by Hulen Wilcox" c. 1950. Mr. Wilcox (who appears somewhat reluctant to add one last melon) and two unidentified helpers. Photo courtesy Arcadia Publ. & Cherokee Co Hist Commission
    History in a Pecan Shell

    Named for Thomas Jefferson Rusk who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, Rusk also was the birthplace for James Stephen Hogg and Thomas Campbell who were the first two Governors of Texas to be born in the state.

    A timeline of significant events in Rusk:

    1846: Rusk becomes county seat
    1847: Post office granted, courthouse and jail built
    1850: Population 355 residents
    1851: Stephens and Carter Academy was opened - to later become the Rusk Male and Female Academy
    1870s: When bypassed by the International-Great Northern Railroad, Rusk built its own railroad to Jacksonville - a railroad with wooden rails.
    1880s: Population more than triples to nearly 2,000
    1877: Work begins on State Penitentiary which later becomes the Rusk State Hospital
    1893: Rail line constructed linking prison with (what is now) Maydelle
    1903: Gov. Thomas M. Campbell helps pass a bill extending the Texas State Railroad from Rusk to Palestine.
    1927: Courthouse square paved
    1929: Population reaches 2,750
    1936: Population reaches 3,859
    1952: Population reaches its zenith at 6,617

    Cherokee County Courthouse
    >
    Rusk Postcard Images
    >
    Men on Wheel, Rusk, Texas vintage photo
    Workmen at the state prison foundry at Rusk
    Courtesy Arcadia Publishing & Cherokee Co Hist Commission

    Rusk, Texas Landmarks/Attractions

  • Cherokee County Courthouse
  • The Heritage Center of Cherokee County - a block off Rusk’s courthouse square
  • The Bonner Bank Building c. 1865 - first bank in Cherokee County
  • The Cherokee Theater - Restored movie house now house local theater - downtown
  • Old Rusk Penitentiary Building: c. 1878 - U.S. 69 and Avenue "A"

    Natural / Outdoors:
  • Fairchild State Forest - 13 miles west of Rusk on Highway 84
  • Jim Hogg Historic Site - 2 miles NE of Rusk on Highway 84
  • Footbridge Garden Park: the 546 foot bridge is two blocks east of the square
  • Cherokee County Courthouse

  • Cherokee County Courthouse Murals
  • Texas State Railroad - In Rusk State Park - train ride 25 miles to Palestine and return. 1-800-442-8951
  • Rusk's Post Office Mural - "Agriculture and Industry" Painted in 1939 by California Artist Bernard Zacheim
  • Caddo Mounds
  • Caddo Mounds State Historic Site
  • Rusk Footbridge
  • Rusk Sunday Drive
  • Rusk : Mark Twain might have lived here
    (from "East Texas Sunday Drives" by Bob Bowman)
    Rusk, Alto, Jim Hogg State Park, Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, two ghost towns, and the longest footbridge in the United States
  • Palestine Hotels
  • Nacogdoches Hotels
  • Cherokee County Towns & Ghost Towns
    Cherokee County Seat - Rusk
    Cherokee County Courthouse
  • Alto
  • Atoy
  • Bulah
  • Cuney
  • Dialville
  • Earle's Chapel
  • Fastrill - [See also Rusk trip]
  • Gallatin
  • Gent
  • Gould
  • Holcomb Store
  • Ironton
  • Jacksonville
  • Java
  • Larissa
  • Lone Star
  • Manila
  • Maydelle
  • Mixon
  • Mount Selman
  • New Birmingham - [See also Rusk trip]
  • New Summerfield
  • Ponta
  • Pine Town
  • Reklaw
  • Rusk - [See also Rusk trip]
  • Selman City
  • Tecula
  • Turney
  • Weeping Mary
  • Wells

    Book Your Hotel Here & Save
    Palestine Hotels
    Jacksonville Hotels
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  • Rusk Tourist Information
    Rusk Chamber of Commerce: 1-800-933-2381
    Website:www.rusktx.com
    People (From "All Things Historical" Column)
  • Governor James Stephen Hogg by Archie P. McDonald
  • Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell by Archie P. McDonald
  • Legacy of an Oldtimer by Bob Bowman
    "Alvin Burchfield of Rusk is the kind of oldtimer every historian dreams of interviewing. At 92, he remembers more facts and dates than you'll find in most county history books."
  • Jim Swink Comes Home by Bob Bowman
    Jim Swink, the lanky halfback who thrilled high school and Texas Christian University football fans in the 1950s, has returned home to his roots...


    Rusk Chronicles
  • The wooden-tracked railroad by Bob Bowman
    The Rusk Tramway
    It wasn’t the longest railroad in East Texas. And it certainly wasn’t the most profitable. But it taught its builders, the good people of Rusk, how not to run a railroad...
  • Prison House
    "In the late 1800's and 1900's my house served as a prison house..."
  • Confederate veterans in Rusk, Texas
    Confederate Veterans on the lawn of the Third County Courthouse.
    Courtesy Arcadia Publishing & Cherokee Co Hist Commission
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos of their town, please contact us.
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