Henderson, Texas is located approximately 17 miles south of Kilgore. Established in 1843, the town was named for the first governor of Texas, James Pinckney Henderson. A post office was granted in 1846, and in the first two decades Henderson grew rapidly. The first courthouse was erected in 1849, but burned in 1860 in a fire that destroyed most of the commercial buildings in town. The town recovered and by 1877, the Henderson and Overton Branch Railroad was completed. The line connected the Henderson agriculture with the International & Great Northern at Overton. In 1928, the present Rusk County Courthouse was constructed. Henderson also became a center for education, with a number of private schools. In 1930, the East Texas oilfield was discovered nearby, and population increased. The boom ended in the early 40s, but almost 30 manufacturing and service industries remained to sustain the town’s economy.