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Red River County TX
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Red River County Seat, East Texas

33°36'40"N 95°3'9"W
(33.611086, -95.052448)
US 82 and Hwy 37
31 miles E of Paris
39 miles N of Mount Vernon
59 miles W of Texarkana
Population: 3,285 (2010)
3,883 (2000) 4,311 (1990)

Clarksville Area Hotels:
Paris Hotels
Mount Vernon Hotels
Clarksville, Texas water tower
TE Photo
Clarksville, Texas. Home of Long Staple Cotton
Clarksville, Texas. Home of Long Staple Cotton
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/

Clarksville by Robin Jett

I visit Clarksville quite often, since my Grandmother used to run the store and post office in the tiny Red River county settlement of Acworth, which is where my parents live now. I've always loved Clarksville's Old South look - kind of dilapidated but dignified. Most of the downtown streets are still paved with brick, and weathered old houses sit in the shade of giant oak and cedar trees.

Clarksville is actually one of the oldest cities in Texas. It came into being in 1837, but was already an established settlement in the 1820s. However, because of confusing boundary lines carved out of the Louisiana Purchase, surveyors placed it in Miller County, Arkansas. After independence, the U.S. government ceded the area to the Texas Republic. Seems only fair, since Red River County citizen Albert Latimer was one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Another influential figure to come out of Clarksville was Charles DeMorse. He began publishing The Northern Standard, one of the Republic's first newspapers, in 1842. A true confederate, he changed the name of the paper to simply The Standard when he believed the Union got too pushy.

Clarksville also has the distinction of being one of the only towns in the state that never suffered through a fire. Consequently, the courthouse contains records from the beginning of the Republic until today. The county clerk's office is always teeming with genealogy folks looking for clues - including those studying their African American roots. Names of the slaves that lived in the county from the earliest times can be found in old probate records.
Clarksville Texas Hiking Bridge, Jail and Courthouse
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2006
Red River County Courthouse and Jail

Clarksville Today

Although it's loaded with all this history, Clarksville doesn't have much to offer for travelers, but hopefully that'll change soon. Rebecca Hale of the Red River County Historical Society says that they plan to open several museums. Right now, all they have is a small, private museum above an antique shop that isn't always open, and an old drug store that they converted into a tourism information center. They've already received two grants: one to restore the old courthouse, the other to create a museum out of the antebellum Charles DeMorse house. In early 2003, they cleaned up downtown when Anita Perry visited to officially designate Clarksville a "Texas Main Street City." I recommend a visit to Clarksville to any serious Texas history buff - or practically anyone who likes to look at towns and muse "what used to be, what could've been, what will happen now." It's a fine old town with a slow southern pace that'll make anyone feel right at home.

© Robin Jett, July 2003

Clarksville Landmarks:

DeMorse Home in Clarksville, Texas
Photos courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
Home of Colonel Charles DeMorse
Clarksville Tx Red River County Jail
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2006
Red River County Jail and Courthouse
Page's Tree - Clarksville, Texas hanging tree
Page's Tree
Photo courtesy Robin Jett, 2003
Page's Tree - Clarksville Texas hanging tree plaque in city cemetery
Page's Tree - Clarksville's old hanging tree inside the city cemetery.
Photo courtesy Robin Jett, 2003
More Texas Historic Trees | Texas Cemeteries
Clarksville Texas Church
Church in Clarksville
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2004
More Texas Churches
Corner building with cupola, Clarksville Tx
Cupola on the corner
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2006
Clarksville Texas former gas  station
Former gas station
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2006
More Texas Gas Stations
Confederate monument  in Clarksville Texas
Confederate monument in Clarksville
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2006
More Texas Monuments & Statues
Coca Cola Ghost Sign Clarksville Tx
Coca Cola Ghost Sign
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2006

More Texas Ghost Signs

Clarksville Vintage Photos
Clarksville, Texas. Home of Long Staple Cotton
Clarksville, Texas. Home of Long Staple Cotton
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
More Texas Cotton
Clarksville, Texas - High School
Clarksville High School
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
More Texas Schoolhouses
Clarksville, Texas - M. E. Church South
Clarksville M. E. Church South
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
Clarksville, Texas - Red River National Bank
Clarksville Red River National Bank
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
More Texas Banks

  • Colonel Charles DeMorse and The Standard by Bob Bowman
    Anyone who has read a history of Texas in the 1800s will find many references to the Clarksville Standard, which DeMorse founded as the Northern Standard in 1842. It was one of Texas' foremost newspapers, largely because DeMorse not only recorded Texas history; he was one of the principal makers of it.

  • An Orphan’s Gift by Bob Bowman
    "Standing atop Mount Locke in the Big Bend area, McDonald Observatory is far removed from East Texas, but without the interest and generosity of an orphaned Confederate soldier from Clarksville, the world-famous astronomy center might not exist today. William McDonald ..."

  • Robin Jett publishes Red River Historian, a newsletter about the history of the Red River Valley - both Texas and Oklahoma. She can be reached at robin@redriverhistorian.com

    Clarksville Tourist Information, contact:
    Clarksville Chamber of Commerce - 903-427-2645

    Take a road trip
    Clarksville, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Paris | Mount Vernon | Texarkana
    See Red River County | East Texas

    Book Hotel Here:
    Paris Hotels | Mount Vernon Hotels | More Hotels
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact us.






























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