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Bell marks 175th anniversary of Henderson County

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HENDERSON COUNTY–Henderson County was established April 27, 1846, with Buffalo as its first county seat, which is a now-defunct city located on the Trinity River near present-day Tool.
Nearly 200 years later, State Rep. Keith Bell spearheaded passage of a resolution in the regular session of the 87th Texas Legislature commemorating the 175th anniversary of the county, which was adopted March 18, 2021.
Bell read from the resolution during Jan. 11’s Henderson County Commissioners’ Court meeting. The resolution states that Henderson County was carved out of Nacogdoches and Houston counties and named in honor of James Pinckney Henderson, the first governor of the State of Texas. In 1848, it was reconfigured to its present size and the county seat was moved to Athens, the resolution notes.
Bell said he represents 38% of the county’s land mass but 61% of its population, following the current redistricting. “Regardless of where you live in Henderson County, we’re here to serve you,” Bell said. “It is quite the honor to be able to do so.”
The court’s presiding officer of the day, Precinct 3 Commissioner Chuck McHam, told Bell that he’s a lifelong resident of Henderson County. “I’m proud of the history and I’m proud of the movement we’ve made and I’m looking forward to the future Henderson County has,” McHam said. “We appreciate you honoring Henderson County with this.”
Also Jan. 11, the court approved an interlocal cooperation contract with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) for seized drugs analysis. Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said the county previously had a contract with DPS for this purpose, splitting its functions with Kaufman County.
Hillhouse said Henderson County will now have its own lab technician to perform drug analysis in Tyler. County Attorney Clint Davis said the new contract would guarantee a 30-day drug analysis turnaround with a cost of $391,934.03 over the four-year contract. Hillhouse added that the contract’s drug analysis capabilities will include all police departments in Henderson County.
In other business, the court:
• Approved a lease agreement with Northeast Texas Public Health District for an infectious disease control employee to use county office space.
• Approved $125,803.84 worth of refund requests for overpayment of taxes for the County Tax Assessor/Collector.
• Approved the 2021 racial profiling report for the County Attorney’s Office, which claims a full exemption because it does not perform traffic stops.
• Approved a right-of-way permit for Leagueville Water Supply Corp. to bore along County Road 3613.
• Approved the payment of fiscal year 2021 bills in the amount of $193,867.55.
• Approved the payment of fiscal year 2022 bills in the amount of $326,849.09.