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Henderson is located just southeast of Tyler between Kilgore and Nacogdoches along US 259.

Settlement in the area began as early as 1832 with the establishment of Mount Enterprise. After the defeat of the Cherokee Indians in the battle of the Neches, the population boomed, and by 1842, had grown sufficiently to form its own county. On January 16, 1843, the Congress of the Republic of Texas enacted a bill creating Rusk County, and decreeing that an election be held to select five commissioners to select a site for the county seat to be named "Henderson."

During the 1950s the population of Henderson gradually increased due to its location on the East Texas network of Class A highways and the subsequent arrival of new industries. By 1988 the population had reached 11,972, and the town had 306 businesses. In 1990 the population was 11,139.

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