Located in the eastern part of Texas, Franklin county has a rich history that is often overlooked. The area is known for its scenic beauty and charming small towns, but it's also home to several interesting historical facts that are worth noting. Here are 7 interesting facts about Franklin county in Texas history.
1. Named After Benjamin Franklin
Like many counties across the United States, Franklin county was named after one of the founding fathers of the country. Benjamin Franklin was a noted author, scientist, and diplomat who played an instrumental role in the early days of the U.S. Franklin county was named after him in honor of his contributions to the country.
2. Fought in the Civil War
During the Civil War, Franklin County residents fought on both sides of the conflict. The area was heavily divided between Union and Confederate sympathizers, and many residents took up arms to fight for their beliefs. The county saw several skirmishes and battles during the war, and many residents lost their lives.
3. Home to the Last Public Hanging in Texas
Franklin county was the site of the last public hanging in Texas in 1928. A man named Daniel Webb was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by hanging. The county courthouse was packed with spectators who came to witness the event, which was common at the time. Today, the site where the hanging took place is marked with a historical marker.
4. Home to Several Ghost Towns
Like many areas in Texas, Franklin county has a history of boom and bust towns. Several ghost towns can still be found throughout the area, including Ebenezer, Hagansport, and Nelta. These towns were once thriving communities but were abandoned due to declining populations and economic hardships.
5. Birthplace of the Bois D'Arc Tree
The Bois D'Arc tree is a species of fruit tree that is native to Texas and Oklahoma. It was widely used by Native American tribes for its strong wood, which was resistant to rot and insects. The tree was first discovered in Franklin county in the early 1800s and has since become a symbol of the area's natural beauty.
6. Confederate General Joseph Orville Shelby's Raid
In 1863, Confederate General Joseph Orville Shelby led a daring raid into Missouri with a group of cavalry soldiers. The raiders traveled over 1,500 miles and captured numerous Union soldiers and supplies. The group eventually made their way back to Texas, passing through Franklin county on their way.
7. Birthplace of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Father
Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, was born in Stonewall, Texas. However, his father, Samuel Ealy Johnson Jr., was born in Franklin county in 1877. Johnson Jr. was a prominent businessman and politician who served as a state representative and senator. His legacy can still be felt in the area today.
Franklin county may be a small part of Texas, but its history is rich and varied. From notable political figures to unique natural landmarks, the area has plenty to offer those who take the time to explore it. Whether you're a history buff or just looking for a scenic drive through the countryside, Franklin county is worth a visit.
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