Franklin, the county seat of Robertson County, is on U.S. Highway 79 and the Missouri Pacific line near the geographical center of the county. The community was originally established in 1872, and took its first name, Morgan, from that of an International Railway Company official; in its first year the community had a depot and three stores. By 1879 it had 200 residents, and voters transferred the county seat from Calvert to Morgan. When the community applied for its post office, another Texas post office was named Morgan, so residents changed the name to Franklin, after the name of the original county seat. The first county judge to preside in the new Franklin was T. J. Simmons. The post office of the new county seat opened in 1880 with J. C. Mitchell as postmaster. The next year the community's first school building, a frame structure, was built; it burned in 1894, and another was erected which served the district until 1924, when a brick building was constructed. A stone courthouse was completed on January 7, 1882. By then J. A. Keigewin was publishing the town's first newspaper, the Franklin Weekly. By 1885 Franklin had three hotels, three churches, two gristmills, a school, and a harness and saddle plant operated by Elias Reynolds. A fourth church opened in 1892, but all the church structures were destroyed by a 1913 windstorm that also damaged every public building in the county. In 1890 Isaac R. Overall advertised a mineral springs, attracting visitors to his hotel and spa for the next several years. Franklin reported a population of 250 in 1882, of about 1,000 in 1890, and of 1,087 in 1942. In 1905 the First National Bank of Franklin was chartered, and the First State Bank was established in 1913. By the 1970s Franklin, an incorporated community, had a mayor-council form of city government. In 1989 it had a population estimated at 1,462 and twenty businesses. In 1990 its population was reported as 1,336. In 2000 its population was 1,470.
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