(NEXSTAR) — If you had to guess, what do you think is the oldest town in Texas? It turns out, it’s not one of the state’s bigger cities, like Houston or Austin, but rather Nacogdoches, out east.
The city’s official nickname is even “The Oldest Town in Texas.”
The town, which many Texans may know best as the home of Stephen F. Austin State University, was founded in 1779 by Spanish Col. Antonio Gil Y’Barbo. But its early settlers were a Native American tribe called the Caddo, according to the City of Nacogdoches. The Spanish slowly took control of the lands of Texas and Mexico before losing ownership in 1821.
Due to several fights over its ownership since its founding, Nacogdoches has flown under nine flags.
As explained by the Texas State Historical Association, Nacogdoches was the site of the Battle of Nacogdoches on August 2, 1832, when Texas settlers forced Mexican military out of East Texas.
As of the 2020 U.S. Census, Nacogdoches’ population is 32,147. Stephen F. Austin State University is a central part of the city’s culture and commerce. According to SFA, the university has about 12,000 students across a 421-acre campus. The school also has thousands of employees, with 519 full-time faculty members alone.
Notable Nacogdoches natives include Republic of Texas president Sam Houston and former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson.
Nacodogches also ranks among Texas’ commonly mispronounced city names, but locals break it down like this: “Nack-ah-doe-chiss.”