Rusk is a city and the county seat of Cherokee County in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 5,551 at the 2010 census.
The town was established by an act of the Texas legislature on April 11, 1846. It was named after Thomas Jefferson Rusk, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. By 1850, Rusk reportedly had 355 residents. A post office was authorized on March 8, 1847.
The city of Rusk is no longer dry; a beer and wine local option election passed on May 9, 2009.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.3 square miles (18.8 km2), of which 0.03 square miles (0.07 km2), or 0.37%, is water.
Rusk is crossed by U.S. Routes 69 and 84. US 69 leads northwest 14 miles (23 km) to Jacksonville, the largest city in Cherokee County, and southeast 43 miles (69 km) to Lufkin, while US 84 leads east 30 miles (48 km) to Mount Enterprise and west the same distance to Palestine. Rusk is about 160 miles (260 km) north of Houston, 125 miles (201 km) southeast of Dallas, and 40 miles (64 km) south of Tyler.
Rusk is underlain by glauconite-rich sediments which, in most parts of town, have weathered to dark reddish brown fine sandy loam topsoil over dark red clay subsoil characteristic of the Nacogdoches soil series.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters.