Hardin County, located in the Big Thicket area of Southeast Texas, is part of the larger East Texas Timberlands region. Hardin County is surrounded on the north by Tyler County, on the east by the Sabine River and Jasper and Orange Counties, on the south by Jefferson County, on the southwest by Liberty County, and on the northwest by Polk County. The center of the county is sixty-eight miles northeast of Houston, twenty-three miles northwest of Beaumont, and fifty-four miles from the Gulf of Mexico.
Cities, Towns & Communities
After the revolution of 1836 the area was split between the jurisdictions of Liberty and Jefferson counties. By 1858 the region’s population had increased sufficiently to warrant establishment of its own county government. In response, the state legislature established Hardin County, drawing territory from both the parent counties, early in that year. Legislators specified that the county’s name honor the Hardin family of Liberty and instructed that the county seat, to be located within five miles of the center, also bear that name. After the election of Hampton J. Herrington as chief justice (i.e., county judge), the first session of the county court convened outdoors under an enormous dogwood tree. A log courthouse was completed in 1859 and followed later by a frame structure. Hardin remained the county seat until the mid-1880s. In 1881 the Sabine and East Texas Railroad bypassed that community in favor of its own newly established town, Kountze, two miles east of Hardin. Agitation soon developed for removal of county government to the new site. In the resulting election a majority of voters favored Hardin, but a courthouse fire in August 1886 reopened the issue. A second vote settled the matter permanently in favor of Kountze. Read Hardin County History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>
The History of Hardin County, Texas, 1991 by the Hardin Couonty Historical Commission
Big Thicket: Its Heritage, 1967, by Aline House