Jasper County Historical Museum: Jasper, Texas

Jasper County Historical Museum

Photo courtesy of Hill’s Creative Photography

Welcome to the Jasper County Historical Museum in the heart of the Piney Woods in Southeast Texas!


Here on our virtual space, you’ll find a brief history of our community, a blog with information on current and future exhibits and events, and ways to contact and support the museum.

However, we hope you will come stop by in person at our beautiful location on the historical Jasper, Texas courthouse square to see our exhibits ranging from wartime artifacts, to treasured Jasper County family heirlooms, to relics from Jasper legends, and much more!

You will find Jasper truly is the “Jewel of the Forest.”

A Brief History of Jasper County, Texas

Painting of Jasper County Historical Museum by Bill Wise

Painting courtesy of Bill Wise

Jasper County is located in the heart of Southeast Texas in an area known as the “Piney Woods.” Jasper hosts multiple communities within its borders, including Jasper, Kirbyville, Sam Rayburn, Buna, and Evadale among others.

The Jasper area was originally named the Municipality of Bevil after its first settler, John Bevil. At Bevil’s request, the name was changed to the Municipality of Jasper in 1835, to honor Sgt. William Jasper, an American Revolutionary hero. Bevil had grown up in Georgia, where the legend of Sgt. Jasper and Cpl. Newton were well known. At that time Jasper County extended all the way to the Sabine River.

In 1846, when Texas joined the Union, Jasper County divided in half, North to South, and the Eastern half became Newton County after Cpl. Newton, a close friend of Sgt. Jasper’s. Jasper was one of the 23 original counties when the Republic of Texas was created in 1836. The Legislature of the Republic recognized the existing municipalities as counties without changing their boundaries.

An Act by the legislature approved on December 14, 1837, defined the boundaries and directed the commissioners to select a site for the Jasper County Seat of government, thus becoming the county’s birthday. After much disagreement on the location of the county seat, an Act of the Texas Legislature on January 14, 1844, made it official that the town of Jasper was named the county seat. Jasper remained an unincorporated town until 1926, when the citizens voted to incorporate and chose A.L. Black as their first mayor. In 2012, the Jasper County Historical Museum honored the descendants of Mayor Black with historical reenactments, special exhibits, and a fundraising gala.

Jasper County Courthouse

Photo provided courtesy of TexasCourthouses.com

Jasper’s first courthouse, a small wooden structure, burned in 1849, destroying all the Jasper County records. A second wooden two-story structure was completed in 1853 and served as the county courthouse until the present day brick building was completed in 1889 with the exception of the two additions on the west and east sides, which were added in the 1940′s.

The Jasper County Historical Museum faces the courthouse on Jasper’s historic courthouse square, and serves to preserve the history of Jasper County for generations ahead.