Wood County, located in Northeastern Texas, is surrounded by Hopkins County to the north, Franklin County and Camp County to the northeast, Upshur County to the east, Smith County to the south, Van Zandt County to the southwest and Rains County to the west. Quitman, the county seat, is 80 miles east of Dallas and 30 miles north of Tyler.
Cities, Towns & Communities
In 1850 Wood County was demarked from Van Zandt County and organized. Quitman was established to serve as the county seat. The county was named for George T. Wood, governor of Texas from 1847 to 1849. In 1870 the new Rains County took a section of western Wood County. Wood County was predominantly settled by people who came from the southern United States. These settlers brought slaves with them and began to reestablish the kind of slaveholding, cotton-plantation society they had known in their former homes. In 1850 Wood County had seventeen slaves. By 1860 it had a white population of 3,963 and 923 slaves (roughly 20 percent of the total population) and produced 1,108 bales of cotton.Wood County remained during the years 1870 to 1920 as it was during the antebellum years, overwhelmingly agricultural and rural. During these fifty years both the population and the number of farms grew—from 6,894 and 756, respectively, to all-time highs of 27,707 and 4,333. Wood County enjoyed the benefits of railroad transportation facilities during the period from 1870 to 1920, but even with this advantage, its nonagricultural economy grew slowly. In 1920 there were only twenty-five manufacturing establishments in the county, and they employed 108 people. Even so, the railroads did bring growth. In 1873 the Texas and Pacific Railway came through southern Wood County on its way from Longview to Dallas. A junction was formed with the International and Great Northern Railroad at a tiny village named Sodom, which had about twenty residents. Sodom was renamed Mineola and by the 1990s had a population of 4,321, a municipal water system, a telephone exchange, and a privately owned power plant. Read More Wood County History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>