|Lamar County is located in the northeastern
corner of Texas, on the Oklahoma border. Paris is the county seat and is the
second largest Paris in the world.
Lamar County was first settled by several
groups in different parts of an area to the west of Jonesborough and Clarksville.
There was a group on the Red River at a place called Fulton; one near what
is called Emberson now; one to the southeast of there about 12 miles near
where today is the North Lamar school complex; another southwest of that
at the Chisum-Johnson community called Pinhook; and a group of pioneers
to the east of that about six miles at Moore's Springs. Then, in late 1839
George W. Wright moved from his farm northeast of Clarksville to a hill
where he purchased 1,000 acres from Larkin Rattan. At the time no permanent
settler resided on this land. It was on the old road that led from the Kiomatia
River's mouth at the Red River west into the Grand Prairie. Wright established
a store on the northeast portion of his property, on the road. By December
1840 a new county was formed, named in honor of the Republic of Texas President
Mirabeau B. Lamar. By September 1841 Wright's store was called Paris, and
was a local postal office. In August 1844, the county commissioners decided
to take Wright's offer of 50 acres and establish the county seat in the
middle, at the town of Paris.
The area of present Lamar County was within
the boundaries of Red River County at the time of the Republic of Texas.
By 1840 population growth necessitated a new county, and legislation was
introduced by representatives from Red River County. Wright, who had served
in the Third Congress as a representative from Red River County, was a major
promoter of the founding of Lamar County, which was established by act of
the Fifth Congress of the republic on December 17, 1840, and organized by
election on February 1, 1841. At the time, the county included much of what
is now Delta County.
In 1870, Delta County was formed, and Lamar County was reduced to its present size. The county was named for Mirabeau B. Lamar, the fourth president of the Republic of Texas. The original county seat was Lafayette, a small settlement located several miles northwest of the site of present-day Paris. On June 22, 1841, forty acres of land was donated by John Watson for building a proper county seat, but though the town was platted, no lots were ever sold. The county court continued to meet at Lafayette, however, until the Texas Congress passed a law in 1842 requiring that each county seat be located within five miles of the geographic center of the county. Mount Vernon was made Lamar county seat in 1843, but again no courthouse was built. In 1844 Wright, who had purchased 1,000 acres near the settlement of Pinhook, offered to donate fifty acres to the county for a townsite if the county commissioners would make it the county seat. The offer was accepted, and the new town was named Paris. The first term of the county court was held there on April 29, 1844. Paris is still the county seat.
Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/LL/hcl1.html (accessed November 5, 2009).
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