Anson, the county seat of Jones County, is at the intersection of U.S. highways 83/277 and 180 at the center of the county. The town was established at Fort Phantom Hill but was moved to its present location when an enterprising speculator, John Merchant, anticipated that the Texas and Pacific Railway would go through the new site. Merchant's offer of land induced McD. Bowyer and P. S. Tipton to open a general store and a hotel. Though the railroad never materialized, the founding of Anson, then known as Jones City, had occurred. On July 17, 1881, Jones City was declared county seat. By 1882 the town had been renamed Anson, again in honor of Anson Jones, last president of the Republic of Texas. By 1883 Dick Davis had established the Texas Western, Anson's first newspaper. In 1909 county commissioners engaged Elmer Withers to design a new courthouse, which was completed in 1910 at a cost of $100,000.
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