Carthage, Texas

Carthage, Texas

View of Anderson Park in the City of Carthage, in Panola County, Texas, and part of the city's downtown area. Photograph by Michael Barera.

Carthage is at the intersection of U.S. highways 59 and 79, forty-two miles west of Shreveport, Louisiana, near the center of Panola County. Carthage is Panola County's second county seat. When an act of the Texas legislature delineated the county in 1846, the temporary county seat was Pulaski, a settlement on the east bank of the Sabine River. In 1848 the county commissioners selected a site at the county's geographic center as the permanent county seat. Jonathan Anderson, who owned the proposed site, agreed to donate 100 acres for the town. Spearman Holland is credited with naming the community in honor of Carthage, Mississippi. A post office was established in 1849. The first courthouse, made of peeled pine logs and financed by the sale of town lots, was completed in August of the same year. The log courthouse was used until 1853, when a brick structure was built. In 1860 Carthage had a school, a church, and the Panola Male and Female Academy, founded by L. C. Libby. The courthouse soon became overcrowded, and a third courthouse, built in Gothic style, was completed in 1885. By that time a local newspaper, the Panola Watchman, was being published by T. E. Boren, and a second weekly, the Panola Banner, published by G. D. Guest and H. M. Knight, was in operation by 1890. In 1888 the Texas, Sabine Valley and Northwestern Railway was extended to Carthage. This line later became part of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe and in 1965 was conveyed to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Carthage by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
6,569 2020 United States Census Bureau
7,004 2019 Texas Demographic Center
6,779 2010 United States Census Bureau
6,664 2000 United States Census Bureau
6,496 1990 United States Census Bureau
6,447 1980 United States Census Bureau
5,392 1970 United States Census Bureau
5,262 1960 United States Census Bureau
4,750 1950 United States Census Bureau
2,178 1940 United States Census Bureau
1,651 1930 United States Census Bureau
1,366 1920 United States Census Bureau