In 1849, Stephen and Rebecca Keith donated land for a town site. 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.
This Texas Main Street City's downtown still offers a small-town feel. The central plaza has a gazebo and park benches. On the north side of the square is a Grecian-style 1912 gray limestone courthouse with a chiming clock tower. More than 70 homes built before World War I are marked with signs designating the original owners and year of construction. 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 (the first east-west transcontinental automobile route through the U.S., opened in 1916) remains the town's Main Street.
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