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map of Gregg County
Click to enlarge. Map legend.

Physical Features: A populous, leading petroleum county, heart of the famed East Texas oil field; bisected by the Sabine River; hilly, timbered; with sandy, clay, alluvial soils.

Economy: Oil but with significant other manufacturing; tourism, conventions, agribusiness, and lignite coal production.

locator map for Gregg County

History: Caddoes; later Cherokees, who were driven out in 1838 by President Lamar. First land grants issued in 1835 by Republic of Mexico. County created and organized in 1873 from Rusk, Upshur counties; named for Confederate Gen. John Gregg. In U.S. censuses 1880-1910, blacks were more numerous than whites. Oil discovered in 1931.

Race/Ethnicity: (In percent) Anglo, 57.4; Black, 20.9; Hispanic, 19.0; Asian, 1.4; Other, 1.1; Two or more races, 2.0.

Vital Statistics, annual: Births, 1,858; deaths, 1,274; marriages, 1,192; divorces, 350.

Recreation: Water activities on Lake Cherokee, hunting, varied cultural events, East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore.

Minerals: Leading oil-producing county with more than 3 billion barrels produced since 1931; also, sand, gravel and natural gas.

Agriculture: Cattle, horses, hay, nursery crops. Market value $3.6 million. Timber sales.

LONGVIEW (82,471, small part [1,870] in Harrison County) county seat; chemical manufacturing, oil industry, distribution and retail center; hospitals; LeTourneau University, University of Texas-Tyler Longview center; convention center; balloon race in July.

Kilgore (14,068, part [3,013] in Rusk County), oil, distribution center; Kilgore College, Rangerette museum; Shakespeare festival in summer.

Gladewater (6,794, part [2,447] in Upshur County) oil, manufacturing, tourism, antiques; library, airport, skydiving; Gusher Days in April; daffodils in February-March.

Other towns include: Clarksville City (910); Easton (636, partly in Rusk County); Judson (1,057); Lakeport (1,039); Liberty City (2,461) oil, tourism, government/services, Honor America Night in November; Warren City (357); White Oak (6,329) oil and gas, commuting to Longview, Tyler; park, Roughneck Days in spring every three years.

Gregg County Courthouse Annex

The Gregg County Courthouse Annex. Photo by Billy Hathorn (CC).