Megan Biesele

JONESVILLE, TEXAS (Angelina County). Jonesville, the second of four county seats of Angelina County, was twelve miles southeast of Lufkin on what is now U.S. Highway 69. It succeeded Marion as county seat on August 22, 1854, and held the position until May 19, 1858, when Angelina (later called Homer) assumed the honor. Jonesville was named for Martin William (Gobbler) Jones, Sr., an early settler said to be known for his habit of imitating a turkey gobbler. Jones came to Texas by way of Tennessee, Alabama, and Arkansas, where he founded the community of Old Royal Colony near present day Searcy, Arkansas, in White County. He also represented White County in the first General Assembly of the state of Arkansas in 1836. Jones, on the advice of his son, moved his family from Arkansas to Angelina County in the mid 1840s and established them on a place three miles southeast of what is now Huntington. After Angelina County was founded, Jones became a member of the county commissioners' court that voted to make Jonesville the county seat. He also had a tannery near Jonesville, kept cattle, and farmed.

The town remained small throughout its history. It had a few saloons, a post office, a few general merchandise houses, and no courthouse. It also had a very small sawmill. 

Jonesville was evidently never generally accepted as county seat; public buildings were not built, only rented. The sole step towards establishing the town as a permanent county site was the employment of William G. Lang to survey the town and lay out lots. After an election in which some ballots were apparently destroyed, Angelina was chosen county seat by a vote of 221 to 130. However, the men of Jonesville refused to let the county records out of their hands. A fight ensued during which forty to fifty people were said to have been indicted, though not all were convicted. A body of men from Angelina who were pledged to protect each other went to Jonesville and took the records. Jonesville declined after that event. In 1936 the Texas Centennial Commission a erected a historical marker near the site of the old town. Jonesville Cemetery is now part of Huntington.


Angelina County Historical Survey Committee, Land of the Little Angel: A History of Angelina County, Texas, ed. Bob Bowman (Lufkin, Texas: Lufkin Printing, 1976). Effie Mattox Boon, The History of Angelina County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1937). Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin. Archie Birdsong Mathews, The Economic Development of Angelina County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1952).

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Megan Biesele, "JONESVILLE, TX (ANGELINA COUNTY)," accessed January 18, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on November 10, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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