Panola County Officials 1846-1936
History of Panola County, from its organization to the present, has been made by men and women long since passed away and. perhaps some forgotten by name, yet their good influence, noble deeds and courageous lives are still reflected in these of the present from day to day.
The very name Panola carries us back to the native Americans the Indians, for in their language this meant land of cotton. We cherish this Indian lore and this name was most appropriate for Panola soil and climate proved there is something in the name.
The finest bale of cotton the world has ever seen was grown, harvested and ginned by Hardy G. Hooker, I, on his farm at Woods Post Office in this County. Liverpool, England, Cotton Exchange succeeded in purchasing it and keeping it for a time, but the New York Cotton Exchange decided the “World’s best should not forever in England rest,” so today this snow white staple encased in silk and linen bagging bound with sterling silver ties and enclosed in a glass case and is domiciled in its native country, New York, U. S. A.
Throughout the County’s development and growth its history recorded rings true with proof of its events.
On June 30, 1841, an act of the Fifth Congress of the Republic of Texas, created out of Harrison County, only a district, called Panola County for judicial purposes. There were a number of such districts created at the same time for similar purposes, but all were later declared, unconstitutional by the Supreme. Court and consequently abolished.
The actual County of Panola was created out of parts of Harrison and Shelby Counties by an act of the First Legislature of the State of Texas, approved March 30, 1846 and was organized at an election held for that purpose July 13, 1846.
Today its boundaries are the same, Harrison County on the north, Rusk on the west, and Shelby on the south. The State of Louisiana to the east. Thus Panola County is truly the gateway to the Eastern United States.
In the election of 1846, Mr. John Allison was the first Chief Justice (County Judge was not used then) elected. He served four years. The following officers served this County with him in their different official capacities: District Clerk, James A. Pugh; County Clerk, John Hadley Anderson; Sheriff, Monroe R. Standief. (His first arrest was seven boys charged with theft of minor degree. But he advocated law enforcement and was no respector of person or persons); County Assessor and collector, Terrel’ Henson; County Commissioner, Charles Morrow, Richard Golden and James Williams; Justice of the Peace, Alex Birdsong, S. W. Westbrook, Lewis Parkham, James F. John, James West, Wm. Davis, and S. Woods. George Walton was elected Probate Judge. Other Justices, Stephen Allred, Andrew Peope and Thomas Hough, E. J. Thompson were elected February 1847. Patrick M. Martin was elected District Clerk in 1848; J. H. Anderson, County Clerk; Jonathan Anderson, Sheriff; Alfred Mitchel, Coroner; and the following Justices were elected for Precincts as numbers indicate. Alexander Birdsong, No. 1; J. H. Booker, No. 2; John Cassady, No. 3; James F. John, No. 4; Samuel C. Hooker, No. 4; William H. Taylor, No. 5; Stephen Alred, No. 6; Andres Robe, No. 7; R. Henry Martin and Thomas Hough were elected for Precinct 8, December 10, 1848. Chester Lewis was elected in 1849. Isaac L. Gibbs was elected for Precinct 2, May 19 1849. J. K. Williams was the first County Surveyor, elected Jan. 20, 1850.