Franklin County

Mount Vernon, Texas

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.


Mount Vernon was first settled in the mid-1840s. The town sprang up around a post office established in 1848; 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. According to the New Orleans Daily Crescent the town of Mount Vernon was destroyed by fire during the Texas Troubles in the summer of 1860, and one of the individuals suspected of involvement in the fire was caught and hanged. By 1870 the town had several stores, at least two mills, a school, three churches, and a population of 223. When Franklin County was organized in the spring of 1875 the commissioners appointed by the legislature were directed to meet at Mount Vernon to organize an election to choose county officials and a permanent county seat. Citizens of Mount Vernon pledged to donate more than $3,000 in land and money if their town was chosen county seat.

First Baptist Church of Mt. Vernon. Led by Baptist missionary William M. Pickett, this congregation was organized on Oct. 5, 1849, one year after the Mount Vernon Post Office was established. Early worship services were held in a log building located about one-half mile east of the Franklin County Courthouse. Originally known as New Liberty, the congregation adopted the name Mount Vernon Baptist Church in 1870. The church has had a number of outstanding members and pastors, including the Rev. Joshua F. Johnson, who later served as a member of the 1861 Secession Convention in Austin. - Historical Marker Text. Marker erected 1984. Located at 300 block of Kaufman St. at Gregg St., Mt. Vernon.

First Methodist Church of Mt. Vernon. Organized 1855, with 13 charter members: Mrs. Joel Arrington, Capt. and Mrs. Baker, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Matthews, Mr. and Mrs. Jackson Parchman, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Wylie Parchman, Mr. and Mrs. John D. Parchman, and squire and Mrs. C. S. Yates. The group first met south of town in Joe Wylie Parchman's home; later in a Masonic Hall; then in 1875 bought this site and built a meetinghouse. A larger frame building was erected n 1896-97. Present edifice was completed in 1930; educational building in 1953. This church body has given at least four men to the ministry. - Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 1975.  Located at 505 S. Kaufman at Majors Street, Mt. Vernon.

Rutherford Drug Store. Oldest business in Mt. Vernon, opened in 1869 by John Griffith Lock Rutherford (1851-1936), Texas-born great grandson of American Revolution general for whom a Tennessee county was named. Young Rutherford began by handling a small line of drugs in the Ruth Pattillo & Co. Mercantile store, went into store of his own at present site in 1877. Postmaster of the town (Lone Star, renamed Mt. Vernon), 1874-82, he seems to have housed post office in store. Son Griffith Wright Rutherford carried on business after 1914. Now in second century, an heir retains interest in the store. - Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 1974.  Located at 101 Houston St., Mt. Vernon.


Mount Vernon, TX 33° 11' 19.4172" N, 95° 13' 16.7952" W

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