I’m taking part in the A-Z April Blog Challenge.
Join me every day (except Sundays) throughout April for the next letter in the alphabet!
Something different on each Letter of the alphabet!
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.
Affidavits filed to establish land titles soon after the Texas Revolution document the settlement by squatters in Spanish Texas commencing in 1818. The area was first settled in the mid-1840’s, by 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. Mount Vernon started as a settlement near the Fanning Springs.
The county’s economy was based in agriculture with corn and cotton followed by over 500,000 peach trees in production in the 1920’s, watermelons in the 1930’s, and the state’s top record production of cane syrup in the 1940’s.
The 1936 discovery of oil on C.G. Hughes’ land in the north part of the county led to a more diversified economy with oil production continuing today combined with light industry, manufacturing, and diverse agricultural endeavors.
The town boasted churches, doctors, lawyers, and many varied stores in a day before people had the ability to travel far. The town voted to incorporate in 1910 under a mayor/council form of government. In 1911 a bond issue was passed to create a public waterworks. Electric and gas utility service followed.
Although the East Line and Red River Railroad had been constructed across the southeastern corner of the county in 1876, Mount Vernon did not obtain a railroad until 1887, when the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railway was built across the center of the county. During the years between the organization of the county and the coming of the railroad, Mount Vernon grew slowly; the population increased from 223 in 1870 to an estimated 350 in 1884. With rail connections the town grew more rapidly, and by 1890 the population had reached an estimated 700.
Mount Vernon had become the major supply and shipping center for the county’s farmers, as well as the site of a planing mill that served the county’s lumbering interests.
Interesting Places to visit in Mount Vernon
Visitors can see the house of the Tallest Rebel, Henry Clay Thruston. He grew to 7 feet, 7-and-a-half inches tall. Thruston did go into the record books as the tallest Confederate soldier.
The Knieff-Smith House is on the west side of South Holbrook Street. This small house is on the Mt. Vernon to Pittsburg Road. The Holbrook Homestead stood across the street and the street today is named after that prominent early family. The Holbrook’s and Rutherford’s intermarried and were related before immigrating to Mt. Vernon in the 1840’s from Tennessee. The Knieff-Smith house has passed through many owners, including Virgil and Agnes Hughes at one point in the 1920’s; ultimately Robert and Linda Smith gave the house for our headquarters in 1991, where it remained until in 1996 where they moved to Parchman House.
The library is currently housed in the 1912 former First National Bank building. Unfortunately, the front of the building has been altered significantly, with the original pediment and columns having been removed.
The Stringer House was built in 1884 by W.C. Holbrook. It was originally a gingerbread Victorian cottage; it was remodeled about 1905; and again in the 1950’s. The house has been home to 4 generations of the Stringer family in Mt. Vernon and now belongs to Inona Stringer of Mason, Texas.
Take a look at Mount Vernon :Small Town with a Urban Feel!!
Nazareth is our destination for tomorrow! Please stop by!