History of Clarksville, Texas – The County Seat of Red River County


If you want to experience the southern charm, then Clarksville is the perfect place for you. Clarksville is the county seat of Red River County, Texas, and it is located in the northernmost part of East Texas. Aside from having a rich history, Clarksville is also packed with places and attractions that will surely keep you busy. That is why in this article, we are going to know more about Clarksville, Texas, and the places you should explore while you’re there.

History of Clarksville

Clarksville was established in 1833 when James Clark moved to the area and decided to lay out a townsite. Two years after the townsite was established, Red River County was organized, and Clarksville was chosen to be its county seat. A man named Isaac Smathers built one of the first houses in Clarksville, which was later purchased by Charles DeMorse. in 1837, Clarksville was incorporated by an act of Texas Congress, and in within a few years, Clarksville became an agricultural and educational center in Red River County.

In 1841, a Methodist named John W.P McKenzie began offering classes for boys who lived in the area. Not long after that, McKenzie found that the students’ population was more than he could accommodate. That is why he decided to make the log cabin in the plantation as a conventional school. As the number of students grew, he added three more wooden buildings that served as dormitories. He also decided to open the school for girls as well as boarding students. Before the Civil War, McKenzie’s school was considered to be the highest institution of higher education in Texas. However, by the fall of 1861, most of the school’s male students enlisted in the Confederate Army. And due to unstable financing, the school permanently closed in June 1868.

The Texas State Historical Society says that Clarksville is one of the most important commercial centers from the late 1830s until the Civil War. Clarksville’s economy started to recover from the Civil War in 1872 when the Texas and Pacific Railway was established. This brought in new settlers and businesses. Since then, Clarksville has started to grow as a city. Newspaper publications, waterworks, an electric power plant, and an ice plant were established in 1914. The city’s population grew simultaneously with its economic growth.

Things to do in Clarksville 

As we mentioned, Clarksville is filled with important historical settings that you and your family will enjoy exploring. Places such as St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bagley Memorial Fountain, and Breitenbush Guard Station are just some of the historical sites you certainly don’t want to miss in Clarksville. Besides these historical sites, you can take a tour at several museums here in Clarksville, such as the Southwest Dairy Museum, Flying Tigers Museum, and the Hopkins County Historical Museum. All of these museums offer different activities that kids and adults can enjoy.

If you are looking for exciting activities, then worry no more because Clarksville still got you covered. Head on down to the Sevier County Fairgrounds, which offers several rides and attractions that both kids and adults can enjoy. Do not worry about what you’re going to eat while exploring Clarksville because this place is filled with several restaurants that offer hearty, tasty, and delicious foods.

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