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Long before the pages of history were written, there existed in the Alto area one of the oldest civilizations in America. Three large Indian mounds West of town are monuments to those ancient people.

Here too was the seat of the Tejas Indian Confederacy, from which the State of Texas received its name.

The Spanish and the French were early explorers.

Such heroes as Moses and Stephen Austin, Sam Houston, James Bowie, Davie Crockett, Zachary Taylor, and practically all the travelers en route to points East and West have passed our way along El Comino Real, better known as the Old San Antonio Road. 

The founder of Alto was Colonel Robert Mitchell, who selected the town site in 1849. Tradition says that the name "Alto", which means "high", was chosen because of the location on the dividing ridge between the Angelina and Neches Rivers.

The City of Alto is located in the Southern part of Cherokee County in East Texas.

The City is located approximately 138 miles SE of Dallas, and approximately 150 miles North of Houston. 

The area includes rolling terrain, to hilly timbered sections, drained by the Neches and Angelina Rivers.