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Red River County TX
Red River County

Paris Hotels


JONESBORO, TEXAS
aka Jonesborough, Texas

Texas Ghost Town
Red River County, East Texas
North of Clarksville

Jonesboro Area Hotels > Paris Hotels
History in a Pecan Shell

by Robin Jett

Local author Martha Sue Stroud called
Red River County the "Gateway to Texas," which is a pretty apt description. North of Clarksville lies Jonesboro, the site of a prominent ferry crossing and steamboat port. The town, which had a hotel, a blacksmith shop, and several warehouses, developed in 1816 and served as the Miller County, Arkansas seat for a while. Famous men like Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, Benjamin Milam and Stephen F. Austin entered the state here, where they then picked up the Trammel's Trace (the northern road to Nacodogches) - maybe to find more action? In any case, county historians like to argue that Jonesboro should be considered the first permanent settlement of Anglo-Americans in New Spain. Unfortunately for them, state historians dismiss its importance because Jonesboro wasn't considered a legal part of Texas until 1836, and still give Stephen F. Austin's colony the nod. Those sticklers.

Poor Jonesboro, wiped out by a flash flood in the 1840s, is not even a ghost town anymore. Only an old tombstone reminds one of what used to be there.

The site is now a roadside park on FM 410, near Kiomatia,
Red River County.


Robin Jett July 2003

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
Jonesboro TX - Grave

Jonesboro Grave: This tombstone is the only original remnant of Jonesboro. A farmer found it in his field nearby as he was plowing. It commemorates Jane Chandler Gill, an English woman who died in 1846, shortly after making the Red River crossing.
Photo courtesy Robin Jett, July 2003


Jonesboro TX - Texas Centennial Marker
Jonesboro Marker at the Jonesboro roadside park reminds the reader that "Near Here at the old Jonesboro Crossing Sam Houston an envoy of President Andrew Jackson first set foot on Texas soil December 2, 1832."
Photo courtesy Robin Jett, July 2003
Texas Centennial Marker
(Located in Sam Houston Park, CR 2381, 0.2 miles SE of CR 2353):

Jonesboro

(About a half mile NW was 19th century town)
One of first ports of entry into Texas for Anglo-Americans.
Opened early as 1814;
heavily used by 1817.
Named for 1819-21 ferry owner Henry Jones (1789-1861).
Claimed by both Mexico and the United States, town was 1828-37 county seat of Miller County, Ark.
Community had 2,350 people by 1834. At this crossing Sam Houston (1832) and David Crockett (1835) entered Texas. A well-known road led southeastward to other colonies by way of Nacogdoches. In 1836, Clarksville became Red River District's capital. By 1840 Jonesboro had lots its trade and many settlers to other areas.

Take a road trip

Jonesboro, Texas Nearby Towns:
Clarksville
See Red River County, East Texas

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