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Palestine

Trip Planner USA  /  Texas  /  Palestine
Palestine is a city in Anderson County, Texas, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 18,712. It is the county seat. Palestine was named for Palestine, Illinois, by Daniel Parker.The largest employer is the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which employs more than 3,900. Another 1,600 work at two Wal-Mart distribution centers. Other significant employers include a thriving medical and healthcare sector that tends to the large population of retirees.Palestine entered the news in February 2003, as one of the East Texas towns that received much of the debris from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, where seven astronauts were killed.Palestine is also home to the NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, which has flown 1,700 high-altitude balloons for universities and research agencies.HistoryIn 1846, the Texas Legislature created Palestine to serve as seat for the newly established Anderson County. James R. Fulton, Johnston Shelton and William Bigelow were hired by the first Anderson County commissioners to survey the surrounding land and lay out a town site, consisting of a central courthouse square and the surrounding 24 blocks. Predating the town was a temporary trading post in operation since at least 1843. It grew significantly following the arrival of the railroad in the 1870s. It had a population of over 10,000 by 1898.
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