Settled in 1716, Nacogdoches claims to be the oldest town in Texas. It was then that Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de los Nacogdoches was established as one of a series of Spanish missions in the area. The mission and the town were named for the Nacogdoches Indians, who originally inhabited the area.
The missions were abandoned for several decades with the threat of a French invasion of the area. It was reestablished in 1779 by Gil Antonio Ibarvo, and became important as a trading stop between the east and settlements in Spanish Texas. Ibarvo first built the Old Stone Fort, which still stands today.
Nacogdoches was the second largest town in Texas in 1800. Located on the Old San Antonio Road, Nacogdoches continued to be an important crossroads throughout the early development of Texas. It was the first stop for many American emigrants to Texas before and during the period of the Texas republic.