2010 Census - 5,193
2000 Census - 5,678
Center, Texas
Center Texas History:
The land for the Center townsite was donated around 1856 by J.C. and Margaret A. Wilson and Jesse Amason. In January, 1866, Center was elected the county seat of Shelby County in an election disputed by Shelbyville residents. In August that year, a man named Parker drove to Shelbyville in an ox cart, stole the county records and moved them to Center, thereby permanently establishing Center as the county seat. The Center post office was established that same year. The town was platted in 1869. An 1882 fire destroyed the courthouse; it was replaced by J.J. Emmett Gibson’s Irish castle. The town incorporated in 1893. The Gulf, Beaumont and Great Northern Railroad built a line to Center in 1904. The town received telephone service in 1905 and electric power in 1909. The town’s economy is based partly on timber, poultry products, and tourism from the Toledo Bend Reservoir. Center is located west of the Sabine National Forest and the Toledo Bend Reservoir at the intersections of U.S. 96, SH 7, and SH 87, 54 miles northeast of Lufkin, 64 miles east of Rusk, 52 miles southeast of Henderson, 28 miles southeast of Carthage, 24.4 miles southeast of Garrison, 33 miles northeast of Nacogdoches, 16.4 miles southeast of Timpson, 17 miles southwest of Logansport (Louisiana), 43 miles northwest of Hemphill, 42 miles northwest of Pineland, 36 miles northwest of Milam, 6.9 miles northwest of Shelbyville, and 38 miles northeast of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir, the Angelina National Forest and Broaddus, Texas.
Historic Shelby County Courthouse, 1885:
This gorgeous brick courthouse was designed by Irishman architect J.J. Emmett Gibson in a Romanesque Revival style similar to an Irish castle. It is built of over 2,000,000 bricks made by Gibson and features 12 fireplaces and a judge’s trap door. The courthouse is the only castle courthouse, and the only courthouse with bathroom fireplaces in the United States. During a remodeling of the courthouse, two restrooms were added. A gazebo is located on the courthouse grounds. The restored courthouse is now a museum. Click on the above link for some colorful history and interesting photos. The courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.   
Shelby County Courthouse, 1992:
The new courthouse is located in a building renovated by architectural firm Scott & Strong in 1992. The 2010 Shelby County Census was 25,448. (936) 598-3863. 200 San Augustine Street. Email 
Shelby County Jail, 1885:
This historic jail was designed by the Shelby County Courthouse architect J.J. Emmett Gibson. It matches the courthouse. The jail houses the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. The jail is located on the 1885 courthouse square at 100 Courthouse Square.
WPA Post Office Murals History:
During the Great Depression FDR created the New Deal Program to provide jobs for out of work American men by funding construction projects to build post offices and other buildings, and state and local parks. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created in May, 1935, under the New Deal Program. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture, later known as The Section of Fine Arts, put artists to work by funding Post Office Murals to be placed in the new post offices. Though the majority of the post office art consists of oil paintings on canvas, other art mediums were also used. The murals are located in every state. Post Office Murals Photos
Center WPA Post Office Mural, 1941:
Center’s "Logging Scene" mural was painted by Edward Chavez in 1941. (936) 598-2011. 101 Weaver Street, Center, Texas 75935.    
Shelby County Historical Museum & Library:
The museum and library features historical and genealogy information, and exhibits depicting the history of Shelby County. Open Mon-Fri, Noon-4pm. (936) 598-3613. The museum is housed in the historic Weaver-Oaks House at 230 Pecan Street, Center, TX 75935. Email 
Lakes Area Art League:
The Art League promotes the visual and performing arts. They showcase the works of local and regional artists, and offer workshops and classes. School and other group tours are available. Reservable meeting space is available. The League is located in the 1881 “Blue House” at 305 Nacogdoches Street, one block from the historic downtown square. (936) 598-7859. Email
Fannie Brown Booth Memorial Library:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. Open Tue-Fri, 10am-6pm; Sat, 9am-12 noon; closed Sunday and Monday. (936) 598-5522. 619 Tenaha Street.