"Travel Northeast Texas"
Red River County.....
"Gateway to Texas"
by: Bobby McDonald
Hopkins County was once a part of Red River County and the first settlers arriving here made their way through the Jonesborough-Clarksville area, on their quest for settlement. One can stand near the Red River and almost envision Pioneer Scout Selen Stout and the Hopkins Family crossing the river, following an arduous journey and setting foot on the Republic of Texas soil. Red River County offers the history lover a wonderful experience, right in their own backyard.
The Red River, Texas' boundary with Oklahoma, is approximately 75 miles from Sulphur Springs via Highway-37
through Clarksville. Trails along the river offer four-wheelers the perfect opportunity to explore.
And, you might be a "redneck" if you go muddin' and get stuck!
Jonesborough (or Jonesboro), located on the Red River, was the crossing that most people took into Texas. The little settlement was noted for its ferry that crossed the river and allowed settlers to make their way into Texas. The settlement was once a rather large service center for cotton plantations scattered along the Red River and throughout Red River County. To grasp the scope of cotton production in the region, by 1860, land was selling for approximately $6.00 per acre and Red River County had a population of 8,535 residents, and 3,039 of them were slaves. And, 15,000 bales of cotton were produced in the region. Life on the Red River was much like the Antebellum South, with an economy and way of life driven by cotton production on the rich alluvial soils.
The site of Jonesborough, today, is marked by towering oak trees, native pecans, and stands of pine trees, that are surrounded by lush pastures and beautiful beef cattle.
Today, all that is left of Jonesborough is a few Texas Historical Markers, a gravestone,
and a host of memories, that seem to "beg" to be remembered.
One of Texas' oldest graves, honors an Englishwoman, Jane Chandler Gill, who died at Jonesborough in 1816.
A tribute to Sam Houston and Davy Crockett, among others, who
entered Texas via Jonesborough.
Today, sleek and fat beef cattle graze the area that many of our forefathers entered Texas soil.
And, a thorny Prickly-Pear Cactus bares testimony to just how hard life was
in Early Texas.
Yet, a rare and "tough" beauty exists, where our forefathers and mothers made history in forming
Travel 18 miles back into Clarksville and you're sure to find even more Texas history, around every corner. Founded in 1833, Clarksville had a population of 400 people by 1858 and was the scene of numerous historical encounters, as it had access to an early railroad and served as the "gateway" on to Nacogdoches, Jefferson, Marshall, and other Northeast Texas towns. The town served as a pivitol gathering place for troops serving in the Confederacy and troops from Hopkins County made their way to the city, before being dispersed to active duty. Troops from all across Northeast Texas met in Clarksville and dispersed to Arkansas and the Indian Territory, as well as other locations of battle.
The beautiful Red River County Courthouse, is one of the most ornate in
Northeast Texas, exhibiting a unique belltower.
In the center of the downtown business district is the Confederate Monument. The Monument was placed in honor of those who had fought in the Civil War. It was errected in 1911-12, at a cost of $1,500.00 raised by the Daughters of the Confederacy.
The Confederate Monument, located downtown Clarksville
is a tribute to those who served in the Civil War.
Beautiful Antique Roses are featured around the center square in downtown Clarksville, with a number of
Texas Historical Markers, that tell of the town's place in Texas history.
The downtown area of Clarksville is home to some of the oldest brick buildings in Texas. Three brick buildings were built in 1852 and by the spring of 1884, Theodore Huneke was manufacturing bricks and encouraging builders to use "some of the finest" bricks in the world, created in Red River County. A fire that swept through the downtown Clarksville area, on Christmas night, 1884, helped to encourage business people in the city to follow Mr. Huneke's advice. Many of those historic buildings are still in use in downtown Clarksville.
The downtown area of Clarksville contains many historic buildings.
Antique shopping, dinning, and a host of other activities are available in the small town of Clarksville, as you discover many of Texas' earliest businesses and homes.
You will certainly want to stop by the Charles DeMorse House and the site of his early Texas newspaper, "The Northern Standard." DeMorse's paper was read throughout the state of Texas and he was the first president of the Texas Press Association. DeMorse, a pioneer editor and statesman, supplemented his income as an attorney, served in the Civil War, and made a lasting imprint on Northeast Texas, as he controlled the thoughts of pioneers, through is weekly "rag."
The Charles DeMorse Home, Clarksville, Texas.
The monument to "The Northern Standard" newspaper,
founded by DeMorse in Clarksville, Texas.
Red River County also has an abundance of wildlife, making it the perfect place for a hunting expedition or family trip, into the native forests, near rivers, lakes, and streams.
Feral hogs are just one of the many hunting experiences in Red River County.
The rich bottom lands of Red River County offer an array of wildlife for hunting.
Other small towns in Red River County that you might want to visit include: Annona, Avery, Bogata, and Detroit. They offer their own unique places and histories from the "Tomato Kingdom" in Avery, to the former Pickle Plant in Detroit. Rich soils, dense forests, and super friendly people are to be found in each part of the county.
This mule was being "broke to the sack" at a farm on Highway-37, near Clarksville.
And, these sunflowers offered a field of beauty along Highway-37, near Bogata.
Beauty, history, hunting, and shopping all make Clarksville and Red River County a perfect place to spend a day, a weekend, or even longer, within driving distance of Hopkins County, and you're sure to learn something about the formation of Northeast Texas!
Today, Red River County is "fueled" by agriculture and forestry.