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Woodville was established in 1846, when Tyler County was separated from Menard District. The town was laid out on 200 acres in the forks of Turkey Creek that was donated to the county by Dr. Josiah Wheat. The site was selected as the county seat by election and the town was named in honor of George T. Wood, who introduced the bill to establish the county and served as the second governor of Texas.
As the “Dogwood Capital of Texas,” Woodville hosts the annual Tyler County Dogwood Festival currently entering it’s 75th year.
In 1938 James E. Wheat called a meeting of the state’s leading citizens near the Polk and Tyler County line hoping to enlist aid in promoting the completion of U.S. Highway 190. His guests were so impressed with the natural beauty of East Texas that he hit upon the idea of an annual event that would focus attention on the area. The first festival was held on April 6, 1940 before a crowd of approximately 300 people.