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Mount Vernon, Texas

In 1849, Stephen and Rebecca Keith donated land for a townsite. Since there were two other Mount Vernons, the post office was called Keith and then Lone Star before taking the name Mount Vernon. Franklin County was formed from part of Red River County in 1875. Cotton and farming were important crops at that time. Today the economy is more diversified through oil, dairies, farming, and light industry.

More than 50 homes built before World War I are marked with signs designating the original owners and year of construction, and tour maps are available. The Cherokee Trace runs along the county's eastern edge, while the Choctaw Trail runs through the town's center, and the Bankhead Highway (first east-west transcontinental automobile route through the U.S.) remains the town's Main Street. Various remnants of all three of these travel routes still remain open to the traveling public. Maps/guides available at local museums.

This Texas Main Street City has a downtown area still reflecting a small-town atmosphere. The central plaza has a picturesque gazebo and park benches. On the north side of the square is a Grecian-style 1912 grey limestone courthouse with a chiming clock tower. Mount Vernon boasts a restored town square and historic courthouse and more than 65 historic homes. Several historical markers are located in town and the outlying area.

Mapped and marked for year-round use are trails for bicycling, hiking, as well as a Bluebird Trail, Indian Heritage Trail, and equestrian trail. Check with the historical association offices at 7012 S. Kaufman St., 903/537-4760 for trail maps; and with chamber of commerce at 109 S. Kaufman St., 903/537-4365, for additional information on accommodations, dining facilities, and events or visit www.mt-vernon.com.

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