The County was established in 1846 by the new Texas State Legislature and was named for General James Smith who fought for Texas' independence and served during the Indian Wars. Boundaries were established at that time and have never been changed.
The Smith County Commissioners Court consists of a County Judge elected by the voters of Smith County, and four Commissioners elected by their respective precincts. The county seat is Tyler.
Smith County stretches over 932 square miles, has 1,273 miles of county roads, 18 taxing entities, and includes these cities:
Sign at entrance to Smith County (TylerTexasOnline staff photo)
Smith County government is composed of 48 departments, including 26 elected officials and 16 department heads. Smith County has approximately 900 employees.
County services and responsibilities include:
For additional information about Smith County, we recommend these websites:
Smith County - Official Website
Smith County Commissioners Court
Smith County Sheriff
Smith County Elections & Voter Info
Smith County Emergency Services District
Smith County Jury Duty
Smith County Vehicle Registration
Smith County Clerk
Smith County Road and Bridge
Smith County Subdivision Regulations
Smith Count Geology and Geography
Smith County covers over 932 square miles of the East Texas Timberlands region, with two-thirds of this environment covered in post oak, blackjack oak, and tall grasses, and one-third heavily forested with pine and hardwoods. Land covers 97% of the county, water 3%. The county elevation ranges from 275 to 671 feet.
The County is fifty-eight miles from the eastern Texas boundary with Louisiana. It is bordered by the Neches River and Henderson and Van Zandt counties on the west, Cherokee County on the south, Rusk and Upshur counties on the east, and the Sabine River and Upshur and Wood counties on the north.
The soil varies from sandy prairie loams in the northwest and east, to loam-covered clay through the remainder of the county between Whitehouse and Arp.
Mineral resources include petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, clay, limestone, lignite, and salt. Less than 10% of Smith County is prime farm land.
Map of Smith County in Texas
The first Smith County Courthouse was a log cabin on West Erwin Street in 1846. A year later, a new courthouse was constructed of logs on East Ferguson. In 1848, a 520-square-foot log courthouse was built on the square.
Two more courthouses would follow, plus a new one authorized by county voters in 2022:
|In 1910, Smith County officials held a dedication for the domed courthouse in the center of the square. It was used for 45 years before it was demolished and replaced with the current courthouse in 1955.
|The current Smith County Courthouse was dedicated in 1955. The six-story facility was constructed to house two district courts, two justice of the peace courts, the jail and various county offices.
The $179 million Smith County Courthouse Bond proposal was passed by county voters on November 8, 2022.
The new courthouse will be built on the east side of the square, between the courthouse annex and the Smith County Jail.
Groundbreaking for construction of the the new five-story courthouse garage was held on October 25, 2023, across from the site of the new courthouse.
Read more about the planning for the new courthouse at the website of Smith County
Design Plan for Downtown Tyler Public Spaces
The Tyler City Council and Smith County Commissioners Court took a historic step on September 20, 2023, and approved a design plan for Downtown Tyler's public spaces!