Jim Tiller

PANOLA COUNTY (Judicial). On January 30, 1841, the Congress of the Republic of Texas created Panola Judicial County (no relationship to present-day Panola County which was not created until 1846). The judicial county included most of present-day Harrison and portions of Marion, Upshur, Camp, Rusk and Panola counties. A strip of land approximately 6.5 miles wide along the eastern boundary of Harrison County was not included; it was at the time under the administrative jurisdiction of the United States. The act directed the creation of a new townsite, Marshall, to be the administrative seat. Because residents of judicial counties did not have separate representation in Congress, the counties were declared unconstitutional in 1842 in the case of Stockton v. Montgomery. Although Panola Judicial County only existed for a year, this was a period which coincided with the granting of headright land certificates to those living along the border of eastern Harrison County. Because many of the records of the judicial county are missing, researching the early history of eastern Harrison County can be both difficult and confusing.


Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., Laws of Texas, 1822–1897 (10 vols., Austin: Gammel, 1898). James Wilmer Dallam, comp., Opinions of the Supreme Court of Texas from 1840 to 1844 Inclusive (St. Louis: Gilbert Book Co., 1882). James Weeks Tiller, Jr., and Albert Wayne Tiller, Our American Adventure: The History of a Pioneer East Texas Family, 1657-1966 (Huntsville, Texas: The START Group, 2008). Jim Tiller, Before the Line, Volume I: An Annotated Atlas of International Boundaries and Republic of Texas Administrative Units Along the Sabine River-Caddo Lake Borderland, 1803-1841 (2010), Electronic version available at Newton Gresham Library, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Jim Tiller, "PANOLA COUNTY (JUDICIAL)," accessed April 25, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on September 25, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on!

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox