8 West Plaza
Paris, Texas 75460
"My Paris" by Maggie Maxwell
"The Culbertson Family" Home Video
History of Paris, Texas
In 1824, twenty-six years before the initial settling of Dallas, the Jon Emberson family settled and built a home along the Red River in the northwestern part of Lamar County. It was the first permanent settlement in Lamar County.
In the next few years many families from Missouri, Illinios, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and southeastern states such as Alabama and Georgia began moving into the northern part of the county. In 1837, the Claiborne Chisum family purchased land west of present downtown Paris. In 1839, George W. Wright purchased 1,000 acres from Larkin Rattan located in the western section of Red River County from which Lamar County was created in late 1840. Wright had served as a representative to the First and Third Republic of Texas congresses and as a senator in the Fifth Congress. With this political background, and with the help from his friends in Red River County, the new county was created and named for Mirabeau B. Lamar, President of the Republic of Texas.
In February 1841, a site northwest of the present Paris was selected as the first county seat. It was called Lafayette. The county seat was then moved to Mt. Vernon, a location six miles south of Paris. In 1844, the county seat was relocated to Paris on 50 acres of land donated by Wright. Paris, named after Paris, France, was incorporated as a town in 1845.
Lamar County, 894 square miles in area, is directly upon a ridge of the divide between the Red and Sulphur rivers, and has excellent natural irrigation from the many creeks that empty into the two rivers. Paris is located in the approximate center of the county.
Early access to Lamar County was by flatboats and small steam-driven paddle wheelers that docked at Fulton’s Landing on the Red River. Ports of origin were New Orleans and Shreveport. Larger craft docked at Jefferson, and goods were ferried overland by wagons and oxcart.
In 1844, surveyors staked the right-of-way and the proposed Central National Road of the Republic of Texas was carved through the county. The road was authorized by President Sam Houston and began at the Trinity River. It passed through the county from southwest to northeast, intersecting the City of Paris and providing farmers and trappers a way to ship their products to markers in Louisiana. Monuments marking this early road are located on US 82 and FM 195.
The coming of the War Between the States found Paris and Lamar County residents opposed to secession from the Union. Lamar County was one of only 18 counties in Texas that voted not to secede at the Secession Convention and in the General Election held that spring of 1861. However once Texas decided to secede, Lamar Countians took their place in the ranks of the Confederacy.
-more to come-