Palestine, the county seat of Anderson County, is at the intersection of US 79 and US 287, at the center of the county, some 108 miles southeast of Dallas and 150 miles north of Houston.
The discovery of oil in 1928 at Boggy Creek, east of Palestine, diversified the town's economy and carried Palestine through the Great Depression. Several producing fields were later found in Anderson County, and Palestine became a center for oil-well servicing and supplies.
Palestine is a terminus of the Texas State Railroad, now a state park, which operates steam excursion trains between Palestine and Rusk. Another tourist attraction by the 1990s was Eilenberger's Bakery, established in 1898, which ships cakes throughout the world.
Its population in 2000 was over 18,000.