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Clarksville (Red River County)

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Red River County was part of a large and vaguely defined area called the Red River district under the Republic of Texas, encompassing all or part of thirty-nine present-day counties. Anglo-American settlements in the area were established by 1818, and Clarksville, founded and laid out in 1833 by James Clark, was selected as the county seat in 1838. The town emerged as an important trade center due to its location fifteen miles south of the Red River, where goods from New Orleans were delivered by steamboats. The area’s economy suffered substantially during the Civil War but rebounded with the arrival of the Texas and Pacific Railway in 1872. The Great Depression and shifts in population during and following World War II caused a steady decline in agricultural activity and in the city’s population.

The north side of the public square (100 block of Broadway Street) contains a uniform block of two-story Italianate storefronts (c. 1885), with Corinthian cast-iron columns, sidewalk awnings, projecting window eyebrow moldings, and a block-long pressed-metal cornice.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.

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