The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is a partnership between Gregg County, the Texas A&M University System, and the United States Department of Agriculture.
The mission of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Gregg County is to improve county residents’ quality of life through educational programs and activities which are based on community-identified needs and developed by local volunteers.
1800s – 1900s
Gregg County was inhabited by Caddo Tribes until the early 1800s and partly by Cherokee immigrants until 1839. Gregg County was settled by farmers from the southern United States after Texas achieved statehood in 1845. In 1860, the future Gregg County, consisted of parts of Upshur and Rusk counties with nine rural post offices but not towns.
The Southern Pacific Railroad established Longview (the county seat) at Earpville in 1870 and paused there in constructing its transcontinental line. The town was incorporated in 1871. During 1872, the International Railroad (later called International & Great Northern Railroad) built a line between Longview and Hearne, eventually reaching Mexico. Kilgore was created by the International Railroad near New Danville in 1872. The Southern Pacific was acquired by the Texas & Pacific Railroad, which resumed construction westward from Longview early in 1873 and established Gladewater near Point Pleasant. In 1877, Longview businessmen formed the Longview and Sabine Valley Railroad (later acquired by the Santa Fe Railroad), heading toward Sabine Pass. Meantime, Longview acquired enough influence to have a county of its own.
In 1873, State Representative B. W. Brown (of Summerfield Community north of Longview) introduced a bill to create a new county from parts of Upshur, Rusk and Harrison counties. However, Harrison County successfully resisted fragmentation, and the Rusk County portion turned out smaller than desired.