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Robert Wooster

ZAVALA, TEXAS. Zavala, also known as Muster Point, was on an unmarked road north of State Highway 63, twelve miles northwest of Jasper and eighty-five miles north of Beaumont in northwestern Jasper County. The town was founded in 1834 and named for the empresario Lorenzo de Zavala, the original grantee of the land that was to become Jasper County. The town of Zavala, situated on land owned by Thomas B. Huling, was probably laid out by George Washington Smyth, a prominent Jasper County surveyor. Zavala was on the Old Beef Trail but was dependent on the Angelina River for trade. The town became a depot for surplus agricultural crops and imports. It also served as the seat of government for Bevil's Settlement and home to some thirty to forty families. Zavala was incorporated on December 24, 1838, by an act of the Republic of Texas, and a courthouse was built; a post office was established as early as 1839. Although Huling was a prominent citizen of Jasper County and a successful booster and businessman, he was apparently unable to attract larger numbers of residents to Zavala. A disastrous fire swept the town during the 1840s, and the courthouse, homes, and almost all records were destroyed. Huling sold most of his interest in the town, plus almost 5,000 acres of Jasper County land, to Jerich Durkee of London, England, in 1847. In return, Huling received $1,000 in cash and 5,000 "tin boxes of Green Mountain Vegitable Ointment." The little community declined rapidly thereafter, despite agreements by Durkee to attempt to settle immigrants at the Angelina River location. The post office at Zavala was discontinued in 1856. However, the town was included in a list of Jasper County communities in 1878. A marker erected in 1936 at Hamilton's Cemetery commemorates the abandoned town.

James M. McReynolds, A History of Jasper County, Texas, Prior to 1874 (M.A. thesis, Lamar State College of Technology, 1968).

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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, Robert Wooster, "ZAVALA, TX," accessed August 11, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvz06.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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