Founded in 1839 on the divide between the Red and Sulphur rivers, Paris became the seat of Lamar County in 1844. It was settled by a diverse frontier society including Sam Bell Maxey, West Point graduate, attorney, and Confederate general. Retired outlaw Frank James (brother of Jesse) clerked in a local dry goods store. Paris was the home of John Chisum, who became one of the West's foremost cattle barons. Notorious frontier outlaw queen, Belle Starr, tended a farm near town.
The Paris Visitors and Convention Council will provide walking and driving tour maps that include some 34 points of interest, including the 1920s downtown architecture and historic sites. The Council also has information on private art and the Hayden Museum of American Art.