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 group of frontiersmen. Sam Bell Maxey--a West Point graduate, attorney and Confederate general--made his family home here. Retired outlaw Frank James (brother of Jesse) clerked in a local dry goods store. John Chisum became one of the West's foremost cattle barons. Notorious frontier outlaw queen, Belle Starr, tended a farm near town. Today, the town is a center for a fertile agricultural region and home to Paris Junior College. In 2013, Paris received a First Lady's Texas Treasure Award for its dedication to historic preservation efforts.
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