Paris, Texas

Paris, Texas

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Paris, Texas
settlement_type = City
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =


imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Lamar County

mapsize1 = 250px
map_caption1 =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Texas
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Lamar

government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title =
established_date =

unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 115.0
area_land_km2 = 110.7
area_water_km2 = 4.3
area_total_sq_mi = 44.4
area_land_sq_mi = 42.8
area_water_sq_mi = 1.7

population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 25898
population_density_km2 = 233.9
population_density_sq_mi = 605.7

timezone = Central (CST)
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 183
elevation_ft = 600
latd = 33 |latm = 39 |lats = 45 |latNS = N
longd = 95 |longm = 32 |longs = 52 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 75460-75462
area_code = 903
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 48-55080GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1364810GR|3
website =
footnotes =

Paris is a city located 98 miles (158 km) northeast of the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex in Lamar County, Texas, in the United States. It is situated in East Texas, specifically Northeast Texas, at the western edge of the Piney Woods. Physiographically, these regions are part of the [ West Gulf Coastal Plain] . In 1900, 9,358 people lived in Paris; in 1910, 11,269; in 1920, 15,040; and in 1940, 18,678. As of the 2000 census, the population of the city was 25,898. It is the county seat of Lamar County and serves as business and employment center for the county.

The film "Paris, Texas" by Wim Wenders is named after this city, although none of its scenes are actually set in Paris, Texas, and no scenes were shot there.

The city does not celebrate Bastille Day every July 14, though at one time local downtown merchants hosted Bastille Day sales. Local residents like the humorous slogan "Second Largest Paris in the World," and along these lines a (smaller) duplicate of the Eiffel Tower, which in recent years has completed this lampoon with a giant red cowboy hat. The current tower is at least the second copy of the Eiffel tower built in Paris. The first was constructed of wood, but was destroyed by a tornado.

It is governed by a city council as specified in the city's charter adopted in 1948. It has fewer than 100 police officers, and fewer than 100 fire fighters. It is rated Risk Zone 1 for earthquake potential, the lowest rating.



The first recorded settlement in the vicinity was in 1826, and settlements were known to be in the area as early as 1824. The town was founded by merchant George W. Wright, who donated fifty acres of land in February 1844, when the community was also designated the county seat. It was incorporated by the Congress of the Republic of Texas on 1845-02-03. The community has no factual knowledge of who named the town, but it is assumed it was named after its French counterpart. Paris was on the Central National Road of the Republic of Texas, which ran from San Antonio north through Paris to cross the Red River. By the eve of the Civil War, when it had 700 residents, Paris had become a cattle and farming center. It is the site of the first municipally owned and operated abattoir in the United States. Lamar County was one of the few Texas counties that voted against secession, though many of its inhabitants later served in the Confederacy. In 1877, 1896 and 1916, major fires forced the city to rebuild. There is an unfortunate history of more than one lynching of a black man as late as the 1920s which A. J. Neville covered in newspaper columns and later published works.


Paris has long been a railroad center. The Texas and Pacific reached town in 1876; the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe (later merged into the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway) and the St. Louis - San Francisco Railway] in 1887; the Texas Midland (later Southern Pacific) in 1894; and the Paris and Mount Pleasant (Pa-Ma Line) in 1910.

Historical Residences

The city is home to several stately late 19th century to mid-20th century homes. Among these is the Rufus Fenner Scott Mansion designed by German architect J.L. Wees and constructed in 1910. The structure is solid concrete and steel with four floors. Rufus Scott was a prominent businessman known for shipping, imports, and banking. He was well known by local farmers who bought aging transport mules from Mr. Scott. The Scott Mansion narrowly survived the fire of 1916. After the fire, Mr. Scott brought Mr. Wees back to Paris to redesign the historic downtown area. In the early 1930s Mr. Scott died and his home was purchased by Gene Roden, who converted the home into a funeral home. It was the first funeral home in northeast Texas to have its own chapel. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. On April 1, 2006, Gene Roden's Sons Funeral Home was sold and the name was changed to Starrett-Rose Funeral Home. In March 2007 Rose left the business and the name became [ Starrett Funeral Home] .

Also of note is the recently restored home of William Belford Wise. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, the property is an example of late Victorian Queen Anne style architecture in masonry.

Paris Junior College

Paris Junior College was established in 1924. In 1990 it was one of the oldest junior colleges in Texas; at that time the main campus had twenty buildings, including a new $1.1 million physical education center, and the college offered both technical and academic instruction. Its jewelry technologies department, now known as The Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology at Paris Junior College, is internationally recognized. The PJC Dragon's Men's basketball team won the NJCAA national championship in 2005.

Camp Maxey

From 1942-45, the U.S. Army operated Camp Maxey, 10 miles north of Paris. During World War II, Camp Maxey had an area of 36,683 Acres (14,845.08 Hectares), and billeting space for 2,022 Officers, and 42,515 Enlisted Personnel.

The camp served as an infantry-division training camp. Named in honor of Samuel Bell Maxey, it was activated on 1942-07-15 and deactivated 1945-10-01. It also served as an internment center for many German prisoners of war. Currently, Camp Maxey is maintained by a Texas Army National Guard unit [] , who regularly conduct training exercises, although the Camp itself is garrisoned normally by a force of only 10 men. Civil Air Patrol's Texas Wing also regularly uses the camp for training events.

In June 2008, when word came that over 600 American service personnel were coming to receive training for the war in Iraq, residents of the city of Paris adopted them and made donations of everything the troops could possibly need so they might enjoy their stay in Paris before they go on to the war.

Bad Weather

On 1982-04-02, Paris was hit by an F4 tornado that destroyed more than 1,500 homes,Fact|date=September 2008 left ten people dead, 170 injured and 3,000 homeless.Fact|date=September 2008 The damage toll from this tornado was estimated at 50 million USD in 1982.Fact|date=September 2008

Modern City Rating

It was named "Best Small Town in Texas" in 1998 by Kevin Heubusch in his book "The New Rating Guide to Life in America's Small Cities".

Geography and weather

Paris is located at coor dms|33|39|45|N|95|32|52|W|city (33.662508, -95.547692).GR|1

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 44.4 square miles (115.0 km²), of which, 42.8 square miles (110.7 km²) of it is land and 1.7 square miles (4.3 km²) of it (3.74%) is water.

Paris is located in "Tornado Alley", an area largely centered on the middle of the United States which sees tornadoes frequently. Paris is in USDA plant hardiness zone 7b for winter temperatures. This is cooler than its southern neighbor Dallas, Texas, and while similar to Atlanta, Georgia, it has warmer summertime temperatures. Summertime average highs reach 94 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit in July and August, with associated lows of 72 and 71. Winter temperatures drop to an average high of 51 and low of 30 in January. The highest temperature on record was 115, set in August of 1936, and the record low was -5 set in 1930. Average precipitation is 47.82 inches. Snow is not unusual, but is by no means predictable, and years can pass with no snowfall at all.

Infobox Weather
location=Paris, Texas
Jan_Hi_°F =51 |Jan_REC_Hi_°F =
Feb_Hi_°F =56 |Feb_REC_Hi_°F =
Mar_Hi_°F =65 |Mar_REC_Hi_°F =
Apr_Hi_°F =75 |Apr_REC_Hi_°F =
May_Hi_°F =82 |May_REC_Hi_°F =
Jun_Hi_°F =89 |Jun_REC_Hi_°F =
Jul_Hi_°F =94 |Jul_REC_Hi_°F =
Aug_Hi_°F =94 |Aug_REC_Hi_°F =
Sep_Hi_°F =87 |Sep_REC_Hi_°F =
Oct_Hi_°F =77 |Oct_REC_Hi_°F =
Nov_Hi_°F =65 |Nov_REC_Hi_°F =
Dec_Hi_°F =54 |Dec_REC_Hi_°F =
Year_Hi_°F =74 |Year_REC_Hi_°F =
Jan_Lo_°F =30 |Jan_REC_Lo_°F =
Feb_Lo_°F =34 |Feb_REC_Lo_°F =
Mar_Lo_°F =44 |Mar_REC_Lo_°F =
Apr_Lo_°F =53 |Apr_REC_Lo_°F =
May_Lo_°F =61 |May_REC_Lo_°F =
Jun_Lo_°F =69 |Jun_REC_Lo_°F =
Jul_Lo_°F =73 |Jul_REC_Lo_°F =
Aug_Lo_°F =72 |Aug_REC_Lo_°F =
Sep_Lo_°F =65 |Sep_REC_Lo_°F =
Oct_Lo_°F =53 |Oct_REC_Lo_°F =
Nov_Lo_°F =43 |Nov_REC_Lo_°F =
Dec_Lo_°F =33 |Dec_REC_Lo_°F =
Year_Lo_°F =52 |Year_REC_Lo_°F =
Jan_Precip_inch =2.2
Feb_Precip_inch =3.2
Mar_Precip_inch =4.2
Apr_Precip_inch =4
May_Precip_inch =5.9
Jun_Precip_inch =3.9
Jul_Precip_inch =3.6
Aug_Precip_inch =2.7
Sep_Precip_inch =4.8
Oct_Precip_inch =4.6
Nov_Precip_inch =3.9
Dec_Precip_inch =3.3
Year_Precip_inch =46.1
source= []
publisher= |language=
Fact|date=August 2008


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 25,898 people, 10,570 households, and 6,711 families residing in the city. The population density was 605.7 people per square mile (233.9/km²). There were 11,777 housing units at an average density of 275.5/sq mi (106.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 72.92% White, 22.26% African American, 0.95% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.56% from other races, and 1.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.12% of the population.

There were 10,570 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.7% were married couples living together, 17.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% are classified as non-families by the United States Census Bureau. Of 10,570 households, 385 are unmarried partner households: 349 heterosexual, 14 same-sex male, and 22 same-sex female households. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 86.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,438, and the median income for a family was $34,916. Males had a median income of $29,378 versus $20,080 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,137. About 16.5% of families and 20.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.0% of those under age 18 and 15.9% of those age 65 or over.


In the past, Paris was a major cotton exchange, and while cotton is still farmed on the lands around Paris, it is no longer the economic force that it once was.

Paris has one major hospital split on two campuses: Paris Regional Medical Center South (formerly St. Joseph's Hospital) and Paris Regional Medical Center North (formerly McCuistion Regional Medical Center). It serves as center for healthcare for much of Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma. Both campuses are now operated jointly under the name of the [ Paris Regional Medical Center] , a division of Essent Healthcare. The health network is the largest employer in the Paris area.Fact|date=February 2007

Outside of healthcare, the largest employers are Kimberly-Clark, Campbell's Soup, and Sara Lee Bakery.


Paris is served by two U.S. Highways: US 82 and US 271. Other important highways with routes through Paris are State Highway 19 (co-signed with State Highway 24) and Loop 286.

According to the Texas Transportation Commission, Paris is the second-largest city in Texas without a four-lane divided highway connecting to an Interstate highway within the state. However, those traveling north of the city can go into the midwest on a four-lane thoroughfare via US 271 across the Red River into Oklahoma, and then the Indian Nation Turnpike from Hugo to Interstate 40 at Henryetta, which in turn continues as a free four-lane highway via US 75 to Tulsa.

Paris is served by two taxicab companies, Yellow Cab and City Cab. Cox Field provides general aviation services.


Elementary and secondary education is split between three main school districts:
*The Paris Independent School District serves the majority of the city, primarily the portion inside of Loop 286.
*The North Lamar Independent School District serves the north side of the city.
*The Chisum Independent School District serves the south side of the city.

In addition, Paris Junior College provides post-secondary education, and hosts the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology, a well-respected school of gemology, horology, and jewelry, and the Industrial Technology Division which offers programs in Air Conditioning Technology, Refrigeration Technology, Agricultural Technology, Drafting and Computer-aided Design, Electronics, Electromechanical Technology, and Welding Technology.


* [ Pat Mayse Lake]
* [ Lake Crook]
* [] Central Presbyterian Church - founded in 1844, it was the first church formed in Lamar County, boasts historic stained glass windows and is historically registered at the state and federal levels.
* [ Beaver's Bend Resort Park (Oklahoma)]
* Evergreen Cemetery - Located on the south side of town, there are over 50,000 people interred; it is the home of the infamous 12-foot tall "Jesus with cowboy boots" statue and grave marker, as well as the resting place of banker/philanthropist William J. McDonald, Confederate General/U.S. Senator Sam Bell Maxey, rancher Pitts Chisum, and cotton magnate John J. Culbertson. Pitts Chisum's more famous brother, John Chisum, is also buried in the city.
* [ Sam Bell Maxey House] - Maxey was a Confederate General.
* Culbertson Fountain
* Bywaters Park
* [ Pine Branch Daylily Farm] - Breeding and selling of over 1000 registered varieties.
* Paris Eiffel Tower
* Restored Courthouse and its lawn with monuments.
* Downtown restored 1918ish buildings.
* [ Trail de Paris] (Multi-use recreational facility along abandoned railroad corridor)
* Record Park
* Public Pool & Bath House
* The second Saturday of every October Amateur Radio enthusiasts (Ham radio operators) come to Paris Texas in large numbers to attend the annual Paris Texas Hamfest. There is also an annual Art Fair and each July the Tour de Paris around the Loop of paris, a bicycle tour which brings many tourists, both American and European. [ Hamfest info]

Famous Parisians

"The town has been home to:"

*Jerry Bywaters - Artist who pioneered the style later termed "Lone Star Regionalism." Bywaters directed the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts (now the Dallas Museum of Art) for two decades beginning in 1943.
*John Simpson Chisum (15 August 1824 – 20 December 1884) was a wealthy cattle baron in the American West in the mid-to-late 1880s.
*Henry Smith - Lynching Victim
*Bass Reeves - Deputy U.S. Marshal
* Duane Allen – Member of The Oak Ridge Boys
* Raymond Berry – Professional football Hall of Fame Member
* Charles R. Floyd - Democratic State Senator who served three four-year terms, pioneer of the Texas Farm-to-market road system and an original founder of Paris Junior College
* General John P. JumperChief of Staff of the United States Air Force from 2001 to 2005
* Samuel Bell Maxey – United States Senator and Confederate Major General
* Dave Philley – Professional baseball player and holder of five MLB records
* Eddie Robinson – Professional baseball player and four time all-star
* Admiral James O. Richardson – United States Navy Fleet Commander 1940 – 1941
* Jack Russell – Professional baseball player and first relief pitcher selected to a Major League Baseball All-Star Game
* Leslie Satcher – Country music recording artist
* Gene Stallings – Football coach; college (University of Alabama, Texas A&M University), pro (Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals)
* Robert Van Winkle (Vanilla Ice) – Musician/Rapper, attended Travis Middle School/Paris ISD
* William Scott Scudder - was a Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher.
* Beverly Leech - actress famous for portraying Kate Monday on Mathnet.
* Cas Haley - Singer/Musician, NBC's Season 2 of "America's Got Talent" runner-up.
* Gary Gene Watson aka Gene Watson County Music Singer
* Eric Engelhardt - Free lance solo artist


The Paris Public Library serves the county of Lamar. Non-county residents may also receive a library card for an annual fee.


External links

* [ Official Site for the City of Paris, Texas]
* [ Lamar County Chamber of Commerce]
* [ The Paris News]
* [ Paris Junior College]
* [ Lamar County Historical Society]
* [ Lamar County Courthouse]
* [ American Lynching]
* [ Handbook of Texas Online] entry

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