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Entry from September 04, 2006
Oldest Town in Texas (Nacogdoches nickname)

Nacogdoches calls itself “the oldest town in Texas”


Visit Nacagodoches
Nacogdoches - the oldest town in Texas - is named for the Caddo family of Indians who once lived in the area. There is a legend that tells of an old Caddo chief who lived near the Sabine River and had twin sons. When the sons grew to manhood and were ready to become leaders of their own tribes, the father sent one brother three days eastward toward the rising sun. The other brother was sent three days toward the setting sun.

The twin who settled three days toward the setting sun was Nacogdoches. The other brother, Natchitoches, settled three days to the east in Louisiana. The two brothers remained friendly and the road between the two communities was well traveled. This road became a trade route and the eastern end of the El Camino Real.

Nacogdoches remained a Caddo Indian settlement until 1716 when Spain established a mission here, Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de los Nacogdoches. That was the first European activity in the area, but a mission was not a town - it was a church. The “town” of Nacogdoches got started after Spaniards decided that the French were no longer a threat and maintaining the mission was too costly. So, in 1772 they ordered all settlers in the area to move to San Antonio. Some were eager to escape the wilderness, but others had to be forced from their homes by soldiers.

Antonio Gil Y’Barbo, a prominent Spanish trader, emerged as the leader of the settlers, and in the spring of 1779, he led a group back to Nacogdoches. Later that summer, Nacogdoches received designation from Mexico as a pueblo, or town, thereby making it the first “town” in Texas. Y’Barbo was named Lt. Governor of the new town and he established the rules and laws under which the city was governed. He laid out streets with the intersecting El Camino Real and El Calle del Norte as his central point. On the main thoroughfare he built a stone house for use in his trading business. The house, or Old Stone Fort as it’s called today, became a gateway from the United States to the vast Texas frontier.

But Nacogdoches’ role in Texas history was just beginning. Over the next four decades, Nacogdoches and the Old Stone Fort became the site of three failed attempts to establish a Republic of Texas - the Magee-Gutierrez (1812), Long (1819) and Fredonia (1826) rebellions. Thus, nine flags have flown over Nacogdoches as opposed to the six that have flown over Texas.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, September 04, 2006 • Permalink