County Seat: Mount Vernon
Year Organized: 1875
Square Miles: 286
PO Box 750
Probably Benjamin Cromwell Franklin, an early judge and legislator in Texas
County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts
Franklin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. Although the origin of the county's name is not recorded, it is generally believed to have been named after Judge Benjamin C. Franklin. Its seat is Mount Vernon
Archeological evidence to the north in Red River County indicates that the area was occupied by Indians as early as the Late Archaic Period, around 1500 B.C. At the time of first European contact, the area was occupied by the Caddo Indians, an agricultural people with a highly developed culture. During the last decade of the eighteenth century, due to epidemics that decimated the tribe and problems with the Osages, most of the Caddos abandoned the villages they had occupied for centuries. During the early 1820s bands of Shawnee, Delaware, and Kickapoo Indians immigrated to the area. These Indians stayed for only a brief period, then generally abandoned their settlements in the mid-1830s. The time of earliest European exploration of the area has not been conclusively determined. The Moscoso expeditionqv of 1542 may have passed through or very near what is now Franklin County. It could be, however, that the first European contact with the area did not occur until after 1719, when the French founded Le Poste des Cadodaquiousqv in what is now Bowie County. Although the French occupied the post for more than fifty years, little is known about their activities. It seems probable, however, that they did explore as far to the southwest as Franklin County. White settlement began in the late 1830s along the eastern edge of what became Franklin County; most of the early settlers came from the upper southern states, predominantly Tennessee. The Cherokee Trace passed through the area, and by the late 1840s the central part of the county was also settled. By 1870 Mount Vernon had a population of 223. The county was marked off by the legislature in March 1875 and named for Judge Benjamin C. Franklin,qv an early Red River County settler. An election was held on April 30, 1875, to select the county seat. Mount Vernon won by a large majority, and the matter was never again contested.
More at Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/FF/hcf8.html (accessed November 5, 2008).
According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 295 square miles (763 km2), of which, 286
square miles (740 km2) of it is land and 9 square miles (23 km2) of it (3.09%) is water.
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