Franklin County History

Soon after the area opened to settlement after the Texas Revolution the last Indian Massacre in the eastern half of the state occurred on April 10,1841, just east of the town of Mt. Vernon. Settlers from a 70 mile radius gathered together and attacked most of the Indians within a 100 miles, effectively driving the few remaining Indians out of the eastern half of the State. Ambrose Ripley who lost 8 children in the raid petitioned the Congress of the Republic for his losses in “the defense of the frontiers of the Republic.”


By 1848 both Gray Rock and Mt. Vernon had been awarded Post Offices.


County Records in Franklin County go back to 1836; when the county was organized, clerks were sent to transcribe the land records relating to Franklin County land in both Red River and Titus County. Invaluable genealogical records are preserved in our county as a result of this. When the Titus County Courthouse burned in 1895, the records were lost for all time except for those copied in Franklin County.


County population was strong with an influx from Tennessee (Virginia and North Carolina stock) and a second influx from South Carolina via Alabama and Mississippi. By 1850 there were perhaps 2,000 people in the county and that number doubled by 1860. All families suffered during the Civil War and half the resident adult male population died or was killed in the hardships of that time. A migration after the War saw the county population double and by 1900 the U.S. Census records 7,000 people in the county. The population grew until the 1920’s when it began a downward pattern with the trends to population shifting during the urbanization of America. It was not until after the dam was closed on Lake Cypress Springs in 1972 that the county again saw a population growth and the population did not approach the 1900 numbers again until the 1980 census was taken.

Related Links

For more historical information about Franklin County, please visit the Franklin County Historical Association's "Town & County History" page or The Handbook of Texas Online.

For historical books about Franklin County, please visit our Franklin County Titles page.

There are also more historical books about Franklin County available from the Franklin County Historical Association.

Note:  This information can also be viewed at the Franklin County, Genealogy - TXGenWeb Project website.