a Pecan Shell
Founded in 1834
and named for Lorenzo de Zavala, the man to whom the land was originally
granted. But when the town was platted, Thomas B. Huling was holding
the deed. The town was dependent on the Angelina River for its economy
and it served as the seat of government for Bevil's
Settlement. There was some 30 or 40 families living in the region.
Zavala was incorporated on Christmas Eve, 1838, by an act of the Republic
of Texas. A courthouse was built; and a post office was in operation
Despite being a tireless booster, Mr. Huling failed to recruit enough
residents to insure growth. Then in the 1840s the town suffered a
fire that destroyed the courthouse, many homes, and almost all records.
Huling sold most of his holdings to businessman Jerich Durkee of London,
England, in 1847. Huling received $1,000 cash and 5,000 "tin boxes
of Green Mountain Vegitable [sic] Ointment." The story of Mr. Huling
ends here - and the reader is left not knowing if he was able to turn
his "Vegitable Ointment" into cash.
Zavala declined despite efforts of Durkee to entice immigrants to
settle here. The post office closed by 1856, although it continued
to be shown on Jasper
County's records as late as 1878.
In 1936 a marker was erected at Hamilton's Cemetery to remember the
in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas,
asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact