Originally a point on the California Trail, the town was established in 1850 near Fort Fitzhugh, an outpost that dated from about 1845. The town's frontier location made it vulnerable to raids until 1868, when stabilizing conditions allowed growth in cattle and cotton. Gainesville is the seat of Cooke County and a gateway to Texas on two major highways. It's also the home of North Central Texas College. Shoppers find bargains at Prime Outlets on I-35 N.