Designated as the seat of
Rusk County in 1843. Henderson enjoyed rapid growth
during its first two decades, but a disastrous fire
hit hard in 1860 destroying most businesses and homes.
Oil was discovered here in
1930 (see below). Now, this little city is an oil
and agriculture commercial center;also the home of Texas
Baptist Institute. City is a designated Main Street City
with walking tours of the historic downtown district
Museum and Children's Discovery Center-
A beautifully Restored
1901 Missouri Pacific Railroad depot houses the museum of
counties history in a quaint old waiting room and office.
The warehouse portion is a hands-on learning center for
children 3 to 11. On grounds is 1908 restored "Arnold
Outhouse,which was the " first in state to receive
ornate, gingerbread-style, "three-holer" was
built for prominent turn-of-the-century Henderson
attorney. Restored 1841 log cabin on museum grounds is
one of state's oldest. Other structures include a barn,
broom shop, 1881 doctor's office, and an authentically
restored 1880s dogtrot cabin. Open Mon. - Fri. 9 a.m. - 5
p,m.; Sat, 9 a.m. - I p.m. 514 N. High St. Admission,
In 1927, Columbus M.
believed there was oil in Rusk County. Joiner and an
Oklahoma attorney and oil promoter had won and lost two
fortunes in oil, and despite nearing the age of 70, he
was beginning another search "without even the
proverbial shoestring". With inferior equipment, he
drilled his first well on Daisy Bradford's land, about
six miles from Henderson to a depth of 1,098 feet before
junking the site. His second attempt was also
unsuccessful. In January 1930, the third well was started
by Joiner about 300 feet from his first attempt. On Sept,
3, 1930, the drill bit struck the Woodbine Sand and the
core came up dripping with oil. On Oct. 3, 1930, the
Daisy Bradford #3 blew in as a 300 barrel-a-day well at a
depth of 3,592, Thus began the East Texas Oil Boom!
Pioneer Park, with
derrick-covered picnic pavilions, is about six miles west
of Henderson on Texas 64 at County Road 4148. Also in the
park is the Joe Roughneck Monument, erected by Lone Star
Steel as a memorial tribute to the working men in the oil
fields known as "roughnecks".
The site of the Daisy
Bradford #3 is about a mile north of Pioneer Park on
County Road 4136 and is marked by a 1936 pink granite
Harmony Hill Ghost
Eighteen miles northeast
on Texas 43, this town was an important trade center
known as "Nip and Tuck" in 1850, By-passed by
railroads, the town declined, and in 1906 a storm
destroyed many buildings. Only a large, well-kept
First brick house in
county; built in 1855 and visited many times by Sam Houston, related to one of the builders.
Restoration cited by American Association for State &
Local History; authentically furnished. 501 S. Main St. Open Mon. - Fri. I - 5 p.m.
administered by City of Henderson with swimming pool,
picnic areas, miniature golf, playgrounds, carousel, West
on Texas 64.
Cherokee, Martin, Murvaut,