Jasper is the county seat of Jasper County, Texas, in the United States. The population was 8,247 at the 2000 census. Jasper is situated in the Deep East Texas subregion, about 130 miles(210 km)northeast of Houston. The city is best known for the 1998 murder of James Byrd, Jr., an event which gained national attention and led to the creation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The area was settled around 1824 by John Bevil. 30 families occupied the settlement as Early as 1830, when it was known as Snow River or Bevil's Settlement after John R. Bevil one of the earliest European-American settlers.