Mount Vernon, county seat of Franklin County, is approximately 72 miles southwest of Texarkana in the central area of the county.The area was first settled in the mid-1840s, and the town sprang up around a post office in 1848. Originally named Keith, the town was renamed Lone Star in 1850. Over time the town became known as Mount Vernon, but the name was not officially changed to Mount Vernon until September 1875. Mount Vernon did not obtain a rail line until 1887, when the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railway was built across the center of the county. Rail connections in Mount Vernon increased growth quickly, and by 1890 the population had reached approximately 700. The city became the major supply and shipping center for the county’s farmers, and served the county’s lumbering interests with a plaining mill.