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History of Smith County

Smith County was one of several new counties formed by the new Texas State Legislature in April of 1846. The county was named for General James Smith, who came to Texas in 1816, fought for Texas’ independence and served during the Indian Wars.

Five commissioners -- John Dewberry, William B. Duncan, James C. Hill, John Lollar and Elisha Lott -- were appointed by the Texas Legislature to select the boundaries of Smith County. The commissioners selected 300 acres on a hilltop near the center of Smith County as the new county seat. The county seat, Tyler, was named after President John Tyler.

With a population of 209,714, Smith County is located 90 miles east of Dallas/Fort Worth, 90 miles west of Shreveport, La. and less than 200 miles north of Houston. Smith County includes the cities of Tyler, Lindale, Whitehouse, Arp, Troup, Bullard, Winona, New Chapel Hill, Noonday, Overton and Hide-a-Way Lake.

Smith County has 932 square miles, 1,170 miles of county roads, 11 incorporated cities, 18 taxing entities and about 840 county employees.

Smith County government is composed of 48 departments, including 26 headed by elected officials, the county auditor appointed by the district judges, and 11 appointees by the Commissioners Court.

Smith County operates under the Unit Road System, wherein the County Engineer is responsible for the roads in the county, without regard to the precincts, and he oversees the construction and maintenance for all county roads.

Links to various areas of interest are provided below.

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