Welcome To the Liberty County Historical Commission
Announcing a New Website Feature!
City of Liberty Historical Interactive Map

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    The Liberty County Historical Commission was organized on January 23, 1967 and was originally called the Liberty County Historical Survey Commission.  The late County Judge Thomas J. Hightower and the Commissioners Court of that time appointed Ellen Pickett as the first commission chairperson.  She was a natural choice for that office, having two years previously created a historical committee for the City of Liberty.  She served in that position with distinction until 1971 and was succeeded at that time by Sandra Pickett, who served as chairman for the next 22 years.  Kevin Ladd served as county chairman from 1993 until 2013.  Linda M. Jamison was elected county chairman in January 2013.  Other current commission officers are:  James B. Sterling III., Vice-Chairman; Klint Bush, Treasurer and Darlene Mott, Secretary.  Members of the Liberty County Historical Commission are appointed to two-year terms by action of the Commissioners' Court.  The commission strives to find members from all of the cities and communities in the county and also seeks to reflect the socio-economic background of the county within its membership.
    The commission is responsible for several aspects of local historical preservation, including Historical Markers, Historic Cemeteries, an Annual Black History Program, Celebrations surrounding local. state and national history, and recognition of important structures, individuals and events in Liberty County History. 
    For additional information on the Liberty County Historical Commission, contact Linda M. Jamison, Chairman at 936-258-9141.  The commission meets quarterly on the third Monday in January, April, July and October at 6:00 p.m. and is open to the public.

Members are appointed by the Liberty County Commissioners Court. Meetings are held monthly except December and are open to the public. Please contact us for additional information on meeting schedules and agendas.

Liberty County is located in southeastern Texas, along the Gulf Coast. The county seat is Liberty. The Orcoquisac Indian tribe lived in the area until European expansion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Texas government formed Liberty County in 1836.

During the 1840s and 1850s, farmers and merchants became wealthy through the plantation-style agricultural production of cotton, tobacco, and other items, along with transportation via the Trinity River and railroads on the eve of the Civil War. Citizens overwhelmingly approved of secession and several regiments from Liberty County fought for the Confederacy. Racial tension between African Americans and whites hurt an already depleted economy.
However, the revamping of the railroad industry both benefited and hurt the economy. While transporting goods and travel was easier via railroads, river traveled suffered due to decreased importance.

Reconstruction through the 1920s marked a period of economic growth due to selling rice and exporting oil. During this period, land values increased due to the drive for more oil, and the county was able to buffer the effects of the Great Depression because of oil revenues. New Deal programs brought electricity to the county's houses and farms.

During the last fifty years of the twentieth century, Liberty County became a leader in soybean and rice production, and river transportation revived itself in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1990s, conservation groups created the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge and Big Thicket National Preserve.

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