Mount Vernon

City of Mount Vernon, Texas

City of Mount Vernon, Texas

Franklin County Courthouse in the City of Mount Vernon, Texas. Photograph by Michael Barera.

Mount Vernon, the county seat of Franklin County, is seventy-two miles southwest of Texarkana and ninety-six miles northeast of Dallas in the central portion of the county. The area was first settled in the mid-1840s, and Joshua Foster Johnson, who arrived in 1845, is generally recognized as the first settler. The town sprang up around a post office established in 1848 with William Stephen Keith as postmaster. It was originally called Keith and was renamed Lone Star in 1850. Although the name was not officially changed to Mount Vernon until September 1875, the town was generally known as Mount Vernon much earlier than that. According to the New Orleans Daily Crescent the town of Mount Vernon was destroyed by fire during the Texas Troubles in the summer of 1860, and one of the individuals suspected of involvement in the fire was caught and hanged (see SLAVE INSURRECTIONS). By 1870 the town had several stores, at least two mills, a school, three churches, and a population of 223. When Franklin County was organized in the spring of 1875 the commissioners appointed by the legislature were directed to meet at Mount Vernon to organize an election to choose county officials and a permanent county seat. Citizens of Mount Vernon pledged to donate more than $3,000 in land and money if their town was chosen county seat. The election was held on April 30, 1875, and Mount Vernon received a large majority of the votes cast, easily defeating Mile Post 14 and Mile Post 15, its two competitors. The county seat was never again contested. By 1876 the town had a newspaper, the Franklin Herald, published by W. J. Johnson. In 1878 he sold the paper to B. W. Billups, who published it until 1880, when it was purchased by James H. "Cyclone" Davis, who later sold it to R. W. Holbrook and C. C. Dupree. In 1906 the Herald was merged with the Mount Vernon Optic, founded in 1894, to become the Mount Vernon Optic-Herald, which was still being published in 1984.

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.

Belongs to

Mount Vernon is part of or belongs to the following places.

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Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

Mount Vernon is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Keith)
  • (Lone Star)

Locations

  • Latitude
    33.17590630
    Longitude
    -95.22467000

Has Post Office

Yes

Is Incorporated

Yes

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Mount Vernon by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Mount Vernon
Pop. Year Source
2,739 2019 Texas Demographic Center
2,662 2010 Texas Demographic Center
2,286 2000 Texas Demographic Center
2,219 1990 Texas Demographic Center
2,025 1980 Texas Demographic Center
1,806 1970 Texas Demographic Center
1,338 1960 Texas Demographic Center
1,423 1950 Texas Demographic Center
1,443 1940 Texas Demographic Center
1,222 1930 Texas Demographic Center
1,212 1920 Texas Demographic Center
972 1900 Texas Demographic Center
589 1890 Texas Demographic Center
311 1880 Texas Demographic Center