Van is a city located in southeastern Van Zandt County, Texas, about 26 miles northwest of Tyler, and 72 miles east of Dallas. Van is located on Interstate I-20 with State Highway 110, FM 16 and FM 314 crossing through it.

The population of Van is over 2,600 residents as of the Federal Census of 2020. Water Tower with fireworks

 Van Zip Code is 75790, and its Area Codes are 903 and 430. 

(History provided by Texas State Historical Association and

First settled in the mid-1860s, the town was originally known as Ratty Town after a man with that unfortunate name (Ratty Towns) who opened the first store. Other sources say that it also went under the name Who'd-a-Thought-It, Texas.

But it is pretty much agreed that the later name of Swindall, Texas was legitimate. It was named to honor George Swindall, who donated land for a church and school.

Still, the present name didn’t come about until the mid-1890s when it was named for not one, but two citizens. (Henry Vance, first postmaster and citizen Vannie Tunnell.)

In 1927 the Pure Oil company made a survey just outside of town which pointed the way to the discovery of oil on land owned by W. T. Jarman. This October 1929 discovery led to a boom – just as the Great Depression was getting underway.

Virtually overnight, the sleepy community exploded with construction. Pure Oil remained the dominant company, but soon Sun Oil Company, Texas Oil Company (Texaco) and Humble entered the fray, becoming co-owners with Pure. This boom led to extending the railroad (the Texas Short Line Railway) from Grand Saline in 1930.

The population remained at just under 1,000 residents throughout the 1930s but declined to just over 600 during the Second World War when men were drawn from the population to fill critical war-related positions.

In the 1940s, the oilfield was mechanized. Pure Oil became a division of Union Oil in 1965. The population of Van grew from 1,103 in1962 to 1,820 by 1974, when the community received a government housing project. Van has continued to grow slowly.


Major Employers


Sky Ranch

Morton Salt Mine

FR Girls

Van Healthcare

Mercy Ships