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Clarksville, Texas

Clarksville, Texas

Broadway Street in Clarksville, Texas. Photo by Michael Barera.

Clarksville, the county seat of Red River County, is at the junction of U.S. Highway 82, State Highway 37, and Farm roads 114, 412, 909, 910, and 1159, fifty-eight miles northwest of Texarkana near the center of the county. It was established by James Clark, who in 1833 moved to the area and laid out a townsite. Isaac Smathers is supposed to have built one of the first houses, a building that later became the home of Charles DeMorse. With the organization of Red River County in 1835, Clarksville defeated La Grange (later Madras) as the county seat. The town was incorporated by an act of the Texas Congress in 1837, and within a few years it became an educational and agricultural center. Clarksville Female Academy was founded in 1840 on Pine Creek and in 1844 moved to Clarksville; McKenzie College, four miles from Clarksville, opened in 1841; and the following year DeMorse began publication of the Clarksville Northern Standard. A post office opened in 1846, and in 1848 semiweekly mail service was instituted between Clarksville and Natchitoches, Louisiana.

In the town's early days, itinerant preachers, among them Mansell W. Matthews, John B. Denton, Gilbert Clark, and Craig Shook, conducted religious services in a log schoolhouse. The First Presbyterian Church, believed to be among the oldest continually operating Protestant churches in the state, was organized at nearby Shiloh, four miles to the northeast, in 1833, and moved to the town in 1848. Baptist and Methodist churches were also organized before the Civil War.

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Claudia Hazlewood | © TSHA

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

Belongs to

Clarksville is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Clarksville is classified as a Town


Latitude: 33.61097720
Longitude: -95.05612000

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Clarksville by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
2,857 2020 United States Census Bureau
3,015 2019 Texas Demographic Center
3,285 2010 United States Census Bureau
3,883 2000 United States Census Bureau
4,311 1990 United States Census Bureau
4,917 1980 United States Census Bureau
3,346 1970 United States Census Bureau
3,851 1960 United States Census Bureau
4,353 1950 United States Census Bureau
4,095 1940 United States Census Bureau
2,952 1930 United States Census Bureau
3,386 1920 United States Census Bureau
2,065 1910 United States Census Bureau
2,069 1900 United States Census Bureau
1,588 1890 United States Census Bureau
400 1858 Texas Demographic Center
700 1850 United States Census Bureau