Fair Play

Fair Play, a farming community at the junction of U.S. Highway 79 and Farm roads 124 and 1251, eleven miles west of Carthage in western Panola County, is one of the oldest settlements in the area. The site occupies part of Immanuel Antonio Romero's land grant. The first settler there was John Allison, who operated a general store, boardinghouse, and blacksmith shop and became county judge when the county was organized in 1846. A post office was granted to the community in 1851. The site is said to have been named by a traveler who was impressed with the fair rates and treatment he had received at Allison's. A church, used by Whites and Blacks, was built on Allison's place, and buried in the churchyard were the Allison slaves and family, among them Thomas G. Allison, a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1875. By 1885 Fair Play had two schools, two churches, a sawmill, gristmills, a cotton gin, and an estimated population of 100. Its population dropped to fifty by 1890, and its post office was closed in 1904, when the mail was sent to Beckville. In the mid-1930s Fair Play had a reported population of ninety-five and a church, a school, a sawmill, and several stores. Its school was consolidated with the Carthage school in the 1940s, and after World War II many of the remaining residents moved away. In the mid-1960s the settlement still had three churches, a school, and a store. In 1990 and in 2000 Fair Play reported a population of eighty.

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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.

Adopted by: Patrick Buckner Browning
Adoption Message: Honoring Patrick Buckner Browning's Parents & Grand Parents
Until: February 6th, 2026

Belongs to

Fair Play is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Fair Play is classified as a Town


Latitude: 32.14710600
Longitude: -94.53131500

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2009