Our History: Paris, Texas was named the county seat of Lamar County in 1844, named after Paris, France and was incorporated in 1845. The city’s location along the Texas and Pacific Railway in the late 19th century played a significant role in its development.
By the late 19th century, Paris had become a thriving community. The railroad brought economic opportunities, and the city’s economy flourished with industries like cotton farming and manufacturing. Paris also gained prominence as a regional center for education and culture. In 1916, the community faced a tragedy that would change everything for its citizens.
The Great Fire of 1916 swept through the city’s downtown area, destroying much of the town, buildings, and businesses. However, like Parisians do, they decided to reach higher and more forward. The Lamar County Chamber of Commerce President woke up the next day and launched the “Smile” campaign which would encourage citizens to overcome the destruction and rebuild the city. In the next 12 months, people joined together to rebuild the city they loved. This rebuild resulted in a more modern and vibrant downtown.
When Paris faces challenges (whether a fire, tornado, or a global pandemic) the community rises together. Our citizens know how to work hard, support one another, grow, develop, and rise to the occasion all while holding onto family values and grit. While we know how to dig our heels in, we also know when to hang our hats and have a little fun.
Over the last few decades, Paris has laid out the red carpet for top-notch events like the Tour de Paris, ASA Archery Tournaments, Drag Boat Racing, and more recently, large-scale cook-off events. Our manufacturing base continues to grow and opportunities continue to unfold. Our deep-rooted history reminds us of where we come from and drives us to reach higher as we move forward together.