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Walker County is bordered by Grimes, Montgomery, and San Jacinto Counties on the south. It has a population of approximately 73,000. Its county seat, Huntsville, is 30 miles north of Conroe. What is now Walker County, Texas, was first colonized in the early 1830s. Pleasant Gray and his brother Ephraim established a trading post that eventually became Huntsville, Texas. Steamboat navigation on the Trinity River, primarily cotton, spurred early commerce. In 1837 the area was included in Montgomery County when it was separated from Washington County. In 1846 the first legislature of the new state of Texas established Walker County, with Huntsville as its county seat. It was originally named for Robert J. Walker, Secretary of the Treasury in President Polk’s Cabinet, but was renamed Walker in 1863 in honor of Capt. Samuel H. Walker, Texas Ranger who was killed in action in Mexico. Lumber and livestock became important businesses in the 20th century. Area historical attractions include the Texas Prison Museum, Sam Houston Memorial Museum and the Sam Houston home, and the Sam Houston statue. The county is also surrounded by 55,000 acres of the Sam Houston National Forest.