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Spurger, Texas

Spurger is located in southeastern Tyler County, at the intersection of Farm to Market Roads 1013 and 92, about a 20-mile drive from Woodville. Spurger is about 3 miles west of the Neches River, which was called "Snow River" by the Hasinai Indians. That name persisted for many years for the general area. In 1834 a settler named Ephraim Thompson applied for and received a league of land near the later location of Spurger. As early as 1854 a Methodist minister regularly visited the area; in 1855 a Baptist church formed in Spurger, and other denominations have followed: Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, Primitive Baptist, Assembly of God, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, and others. A post office was established in 1881, with Rufus Bower serving as the first postmaster. Many people in the area were employed by or owned cotton farms, cotton gins, sugar cane farms, grist mills, and tanneries. Sheffield's ferry connected Spurger with Kirbyville, Jasper, and other areas to the east, and was the last in Tyler County to cease operations when it was replaced in 1959 by a bridge. In 1920 after a high of about 500 residents the population fluctuated, and in 1934 the Joe's Lake Area Oil Field brought in by the American Republic Oil Company gave Spurger another boost. Small sawmills operated in the area for many years, with the last one said to have been operating in about 1950. Unfortunately, no records of those mills are known to have survived. The town's name was said to have originated from a mispronunciation of the surname "Spurgeon."

References

Megan Biesele, "SPURGER, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hls75), accessed November 07, 2012. Lou Ella Moseley, Pioneer Days of Tyler County (Fort Worth: Miran, 1975). W. T. Block, East Texas Mill Towns & Ghost Towns, Vol. 1 (Lufkin: Best of East Texas Publishers, 1994).

Tyler County Historical Commission
P.O. Box 777
Woodville, TX 75979

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