Huntsville, is located at the junction of Interstate highways 45 and 75, U.S. Highway 190, and Texas highways 19 and 30 at the approximate center of Walker County.
Huntsville, the county seat, was founded in 1835 or 1836 by Pleasant and Ephraim Gray as an Indian trading post and was named for Huntsville, Alabama, former home of the Gray family. The city originally lay within the northeast section of Montgomery County, which was organized in 1837. It was designated the seat of Walker County when the county was organized in 1846. Huntsville acquired a post office on June 9, 1837, with Ephraim Gray as the first postmaster. The Grays' trading post was well situated to trade with the Bidai, Alabama, and Coushatta Indians. Relations between these groups and the early settlers around Huntsville appear to have been peaceful. As trade along the Trinity River grew and as colonists arrived to exploit timber and rich alluvial bottomlands, Huntsville became the center of increasing activity. The 1840s and 1850s saw the arrival of a few relatively well-to-do families from the Carolinas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, along with larger numbers of yeomen. Visitors such as Gustav Dresel, N. Adolphus Sterne (a business associate of Alexander McDonald, who built the first brick building in the community), and William Bollaert recorded their impressions of early Huntsville, as did Melinda Rankin, an early resident. Huntsville was also the home of many prominent early Texans, including Sam Houston, Henderson King Yoakum, Samuel McKinney, Robert Goodloe Smither, and Anthony Martin Branch. Continue Reading Huntsville History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>
Huntsville and Walker County, Texas: A Bicentennial History, 1976, edited by D'Anne McAdams Crews