Chosen as the seat of Henderson County in 1850, Athens was so named because it was expected to become the cultural center of the state, as was its namesake in Greece. The city is southeast of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex on U.S. 175 and is home to Trinity Valley Community College.
According to local lore and research of Texas historian Frank X. Tolbert, the hamburger originated here. The story goes that after serving hamburgers in his downtown diner, Fletcher "Uncle Fletch" Davis introduced his creation to the world at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.
The city also is home to the Athens Old Fiddlers' Reunion, the longest-running event of its kind in the U.S., held the last Friday in May.