Jasper is a city in and the county seat of Jasper County, Texas, United States. Its population was 7,590 at the 2010 U.S. Census, down from 8,247 at the 2000 U.S. Census. Jasper is situated in the Deep East Texas subregion, about 130 miles (210 km) northeast of Houston. Jasper (the “Butterfly Capital of Texas”) holds an annual Butterfly Festival the first Saturday in October to celebrate the migration of the monarch butterflies. The area, which was then part of Mexican Texas, was settled around 1824 by John Bevil. Thirty families occupied the settlement as early as 1830, when it was known as “Snow River”, after John R. Bevil, a hero of the American Revolution.
In 1835, the town was renamed after William Jasper, a war hero from the American Revolution, who was killed attempting to plant the American flag at the storming of Savannah in 1779. Jasper was one of the 23 original counties when the Republic of Texas was created in 1836. Jasper became the county seat in 1844 and became part of the United States with the annexation of Texas in 1845. During the Civil War, the town housed a Confederate quartermaster depot and served as a major center for Confederate communication, transportation, and supply. Jasper was a Confederate Army headquarters for a nine-county area. Following the war, Union troops led by General George Custer occupied Jasper, camping in the town square.
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