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Although George W. Wright is often considered the first
permanent settler in the area, his family settled downriver at Pecan
Point in 1816 and did not actually move to the future Lamar County
until 1839. The area of present Lamar County was within the boundaries
of Red River County at the time of the Republic of Texas.
By 1840 population growth necessitated a new county, and
legislation was introduced by representatives from Red River County.
Wright, who had served in the Third Congress as a representative from
Red River County, was a major promoter of the founding of Lamar
County, which was established by act of the Fifth Congress of the
republic on December 17, 1840, and organized by election on February
1, 1841. At the time, the county included much of what is now Delta
In 1870 Delta County was formed, and Lamar County was reduced
to its present size. The county was named for Mirabeau B. Lamar, the
fourth president of the Republic of Texas. The original county seat
was Lafayette, a small settlement located several miles northwest of
the site of present-day Paris. On June 22, 1841, forty acres of land
was donated by John Watson for building a proper county seat, but
though the town was platted, no lots were ever sold. The county court
continued to meet at Lafayette, however, until the Texas Congress
passed a law in 1842 requiring that each county seat be located within
five miles of the geographic center of the county. Mount Vernon was
made Lamar county seat in 1843, but again no courthouse was built. In
1844 Wright, who had purchased 1,000 acres near the settlement of
Pinhook, offered to donate fifty acres to the county for a townsite if
the county commissioners would make it the county seat. The offer was
accepted, and the new town was named Paris. The first term of the
county court was held there on April 29, 1844. Paris is still the
Cities and towns
Arthur City (unincorporated)
Brookston (unincorporated) Chicota
Cunningham (unincorporated) Deport (partly in Red River
Petty (unincorporated) Powderly
Sun Valley Toco
Choctaw County, Oklahoma (north)
Red River County
Bryan County, Oklahoma (northwest)
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