Henderson was founded in 1843 to serve as the Rusk County seat, and was duly recognized by the Congress of the Republic of Texas. Much of Henderson’s history since its founding remains intact despite a fire, the Civil War and reconstruction. Today, Henderson’s downtown boasts a National Register Historic District designation. Visitors continue to relive Henderson’s past at the Opera House and the C.E. Rogers & Son General Store, which preserves the days of 1889.
As the city’s first brick home, the Howard-Dickenson House is another popular historic attraction. Its walls frequently welcomed Sam Houston as a guest when he was the first President of the Republic of Texas.
The oil boom of the 1930s transformed the economic landscape from an agricultural, plantation base to a thriving business foundation. Today, monuments to this gusher and others that triggered the East Texas oil boom can be found around Pioneer Park.