|• City Council||Reginald Hughes (Mayor)|
|• City Manager||Grayson Path|
|• Total||37.07 sq mi (96.00 km2)|
|• Land||35.19 sq mi (91.14 km2)|
|• Water||1.88 sq mi (4.86 km2)|
|Elevation||600 ft (183 m)|
|• Density||650/sq mi (250/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1364810|
Present-day Lamar County was part of Red River County during the Republic of Texas. By 1840, population growth necessitated the organization of a new county. George Washington Wright, who had served in the Third Congress of the Republic of Texas as a representative from Red River County, was a major proponent of the new county. The Fifth Congress established the new county on December 17, 1840, and named it after Mirabeau B. Lamar, who was the first Vice President and the second President of the Republic of Texas.
Lamar County was one of the 18 Texas counties that voted against secession on February 23, 1861.
In 1877, 1896, and 1916, major fires in the city forced considerable rebuilding. The 1916 fire destroyed almost half the town and caused an estimated $11 million in property damage. The fire ruined most of the central business district and swept through a residential area. The burned structures included the Federal Building and Post Office, the Lamar County Courthouse and Jail, City Hall, most commercial buildings, and several churches.
In 1893, black teenager Henry Smith was accused of murder, tortured, and then burned to death on a scaffold in front of thousands of spectators in Paris. In 1920, two black brothers from the Arthur family were tied to a flagpole and burned to death at the Paris fairgrounds. The city has prominent memorials to the Confederacy.
In 1943, the U.S. Supreme Court in Largent v. Texas struck down a Paris ordinance that prohibited a person from selling or distributing religious publications without first obtaining a city-issued permit. The Court ruled that the ordinance abridged freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Paris is a former railroad center. The Texas and Pacific reached town in 1876; the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway (later merged into the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway) and the Frisco in 1887; the Texas Midland Railroad (later Southern Pacific) in 1894; and the Paris and Mount Pleasant (Pa-Ma Line) in 1910. Paris Union Station, built 1912, served Frisco, Santa Fe, and Texas Midland passenger trains until 1956. Today, the station is used by the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce and serves as the research library for the Lamar County Genealogical Society.
Following a tradition of American cities named "Paris" (named after France's capital), the city commissioned a 65-foot-tall (20 m) replica of the Eiffel Tower in 1993 and installed it on site of the Love Civic Center, southeast of the town square. In 1998, presumably as a response to the 1993 construction of a 60-foot-tall (18 m) tower in Paris, Tennessee, the city placed a giant red cowboy hat atop its tower. The current Eiffel Tower replica is at least the second one; an earlier replica constructed of wood was destroyed by a tornado.
Race relations in Paris were described by Newsweek as "turbulent" and sometimes "explosive". In the late-19th and early-20th centuries, several lynchings of African-Americans were staged at the Paris Fairgrounds. A black teenager, Henry Smith, lynched in 1893, was the first in US history captured in photographs. Other lynchings included Irving and Herman Arthur in 1920.
In 2008, an African-American man, Brandon McClelland, was run over and dragged to death by two white men, who were not prosecuted due to lack of evidence. A rally over the death in 2009 had groups shouting "white power" and "black power".
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 44.4 square miles (115 km2), of which 42.8 square miles (111 km2) are land and 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2) (3.74%) are covered by water.
Paris has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa in the Köppen climate classification). It is located in "Tornado Alley", an area largely centered in the middle of the United States in which tornadoes occur frequently because of weather patterns and geography. Paris is in USDA plant hardiness zone 8a for winter temperatures. This is cooler than its southern neighbor Dallas, and while similar to Atlanta, Georgia, it has warmer summertime temperatures. Summertime average highs reach 94 and 95 °F (34 and 35 °C) in July and August, with associated lows of 72 and 71 °F (22 and 22 °C). Winter temperatures drop to an average high of 51 °F (11 °C) and low of 30 °F (−1 °C) in January. The highest temperature on record was 115 °F (46 °C), set in August 1936, and the record low was −5 °F (−21 °C), set in 1930. Average precipitation is 47.82 in (1,215 mm). Snow is not unusual, but is by no means predictable, and years can pass with no snowfall at all.
On April 2, 1982, Paris was hit by an F4 tornado that destroyed more than 1,500 homes, and left 10 people dead, 170 injured, and 3,000 homeless. The damage toll from this tornado was estimated at US$50 million in 1982.
According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Paris has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. The hottest temperature recorded in Paris was 115 °F (46.1 °C) in August 1936, while the coldest temperature recorded was −5 °F (−20.6 °C) in January 1930.
|Climate data for Paris, Texas, 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1896–present|
|Record high °F (°C)||90
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||73.9
|Mean daily maximum °F (°C)||53.5
|Daily mean °F (°C)||43.4
|Mean daily minimum °F (°C)||33.2
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||18.0
|Record low °F (°C)||−5
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.08
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||0.4
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||8.8||9.1||9.5||9.0||9.9||7.7||6.3||5.4||6.5||7.5||7.4||8.3||95.4|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||0.3||0.1||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.3||0.7|
|Source 1: NOAA (snow, snow days 1981–2010)|
|Source 2: National Weather Service|
In 2010, 25,171 people 10,306 households, and 6,426 families resided in the city. The population density was 588.1 people per square mile (227.1 people/km2); the 11,883 housing units averaged 277.6 per square mile (107.2/km2). of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.01. In the city, the population was distributed as 25.0% under 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 or older. The median age was 37.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.3 males. For every 100 females 18 and over, there were 82.9 males.
By 2020, the city had 10,522 households according to the American Community Survey, and 3,549 were married-couple households. The average household size was 2.29, and the average family size was 2.99. Of its 2020 population, 933 were foreign-born nationals, 18.9% of whom were naturalized U.S. citizens. As of the census estimates, 49.6% of housing units were owner-occupied and 50.4% were renter-occupied.
|Black or African American (NH)||5,643||23.06%|
|Native American or Alaska Native (NH)||331||1.35%|
|Pacific Islander (NH)||19||0.08%|
|Some other race (NH)||57||0.23%|
|Hispanic or Latino||2,908||11.88%|
In 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the racial makeup of the city was 70.3% White, 24.8% Black and African American, 3.1% American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.1% Asian, and 4.1% from other races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 8.2% of the population. In 2020, its racial and ethnic makeup was 56.6% non-Hispanic White, 23.06% Black and African American, 1.35% Native American, 1.42% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.23% some other race, 5.38% multiracial, and 11.88% Hispanic or Latino of any race, reflecting demographic trends of greater diversification.
In the past, Paris was a major cotton exchange, and the county was developed as cotton plantations. While cotton is still farmed on the lands around Paris, it is no longer a major part of the economy.
Paris's one major hospital has 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 the center of 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. Paris Regional Medical Center South Campus has recently closed and only the North Campus remains open. The health network is one of the largest employers in the Paris area.
|#||Employer||# of employees|
|T-6||North Lamar ISD||500|
|9||City of Paris||320|
Note: PRMC is Paris Regional Medical Center.
Arts and culture
The city is home to several late-19th to mid-20th century stately 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 him. The Scott Mansion narrowly survived the fire of 1916. After the fire, Scott brought the architect Wees back to Paris to redesign the historic downtown area.
- Pat Mayse Lake
- Beaver's Bend Resort Park (Oklahoma)
- Evergreen Cemetery – Located on the south side of town, there are over 50,000 people interred. This is the site of a noted 12-foot (3.7 m) tall "Jesus with cowboy boots" statue and grave marker of Willet Babcock, 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 and 2 time US Senator.
- Paris Eiffel Tower
- On October 4, 1955, early in his career, Elvis Presley performed at the Boys Club Gymnasium at 1530 1st Street Northeast in Paris as a member of the Louisiana Hayride Jamboree tour.
- Lamar County Historical Museum
Paris is governed by a city council as specified in the city's charter adopted in 1948.
Elementary and secondary education is split among three main school districts:
- Paris Independent School District
- North Lamar Independent School District
- Chisum Independent School District
Prairiland ISD also serves a small portion of the town, along with Blossom ISD.
In addition, Paris Junior College provides postsecondary education. It hosts the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology, a well-respected school[according to whom?] of gemology, horology, and jewelry. The Industrial Technology Division offers programs in air conditioning technology, refrigeration technology, agricultural technology, drafting and computer-aided design, electronics, electromechanical technology, and welding technology.
The Paris Public Library serves Paris, as does the Lamar County Genealogical Society Library.
Paris is served by four major highways:
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.
For public transit, Paris is served by the Ark-Tex Council of Governments Rural Transit District (TRAX). Local, fixed-route bus service runs hourly on weekdays between 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM. Dubbed the "Paris Metro", the city has been lauded as a rural leader in providing reliable public transit. There is no intercity transit available in Paris. However, intercity bus routes can be accessed in nearby Mount Pleasant and Sulphur Springs. These services are operated by Greyhound and Trailways.
Paris is served by two taxicab companies. Cox Field provides general aviation services.
- Duane Allen, member of the Oak Ridge Boys
- Tia Ballard, actress for Funimation Entertainment
- Charles Baxter, physician, attended President Kennedy after he was fatally shot
- Elle Evans Bellamy, model and actress
- Raymond Berry, professional football Hall of Famer
- Tyler Bryant, blues rock guitarist
- Brenda Cherry, civil rights activist
- John Chisum, cattle baron
- Gary B.B. Coleman, soul blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and record producer
- Marsha Farney, Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from Williamson County; reared in Paris, graduated from Paris Junior College, and taught school in Paris in 1990s
- Bobby Jack Floyd, National Football League (NFL) fullback
- Charles R. Floyd, three-term Democratic state senator; pioneer of the Texas farm-to-market road system and an original founder of Paris Junior College
- Cas Haley, singer/musician, NBC's season two of America's Got Talent runner-up
- Al Haynes, commercial airline pilot, captain during the United Airlines Flight 232 crash
- William Henry Huddle, Texas Capitol artist
- Charlie Jackson, NFL football player
- Frank Jackson, NFL football player
- Frank James, outlaw and brother of Jesse James
- General John P. Jumper, Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force from 2001 to 2005
- Robert Matteson Johnston, Harvard Professor, historian of Napoleon and France.
- Richard Gordon Kendall (1933–2008) self-taught outsider folk artist
- Beverly Leech, actress, portrayed Kate Monday on Mathnet
- Samuel Bell Maxey, United States Senator and Confederate Major General
- Gordon McLendon, pioneer radio broadcaster and founder of the Liberty Broadcasting System
- Jay Hunter Morris, operatic tenor
- John Morris, actor
- Robert Nelson (1920–1985), NFL professional football player
- John Osteen, pastor
- Dave Philley, professional baseball player and holder of five MLB records
- Bass Reeves, the first black deputy U.S. marshal to serve west of the Mississippi River, was based in Paris for four years in the late 19th century
- Admiral James O. Richardson, United States Navy Fleet Commander 1940–1941
- Eddie Robinson, professional baseball player, four-time All-Star and Texas Rangers executive
- Augusta Rucker, medical doctor, zoologist, public health lecturer
- Jack Russell, professional baseball player and first relief pitcher selected to a Major League Baseball All-Star Game
- Leslie Satcher, country music recording artist
- William Scott Scudder, Major League Baseball pitcher
- Gene Stallings, Alabama head coach 1990–1996
- Steven H. Tallant, president of Texas A&M University-Kingsville
- Starke Taylor, mayor of Dallas and businessman
- Shangela Laquifa Wadley, comedian, reality television personality, and drag performer
In popular culture
- The 1984 film Paris, Texas is named for the city.
- The Lana Del Rey song "Paris, Texas" from her 2023 album Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd is named for the film and references the city.
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "2020 Race and Population Totals". Data.census.gov. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
- John Sayles; Henry Sales (1889). Revised Civil Statutes and Laws Passed by the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, & 20th Legislatures of the State of Texas. Vol. 1. Gilbert Book Company. p. 281. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- "Texas Almanac: Secession and the Civil War". Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on October 21, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
- Tx State Historical Commission (1978). "The Paris Fire of 1916 – Texas State Historical Marker". Stoppingpoints.com.
- Campbell Roberts (February 10, 2015). "History of Lynchings in the South Documents Nearly 4,000 Names". The New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- "Largent v. State of Tex". U.S. Supreme Court. Retrieved January 7, 2018 – via FindLaw.
- "Union Station - Paris, Texas - Train Stations/Depots". Waymarking.com.
- Gretel C. Kovach; Ariel Campo–Flores (July 27, 2009). "The turbulent racial history of Paris, Texas". Newsweek, via Anderson Cooper 360°. CNN. Archived from the original on October 2, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
- Howard Witt (March 12, 2007). "To some in Paris, sinister past is back". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
- Howard Witt (February 1, 2009). "Paris, Texas, race relations dialogue turns into dispute". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
- Minutaglio, Bill (2021). A Single Star and Bloody Knuckles: A History of Politics and Race in Texas. University of Texas Press. pp. 48–51. ISBN 9781477310366.
- "Man Acquitted of Murder". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. January 14, 1922. p. 7. ISSN 0889-0013. OCLC 60616134. Retrieved July 23, 2020."Texas Mob Burns Negroes At Stake". New Britain Herald. New Britain, Connecticut: Herald Pub. Co. July 7, 1920. pp. 1–12. ISSN 2643-4954. OCLC 8783515. Retrieved July 7, 2020 – via Chronicling America."Mob of Texans Burns Negroes". Bisbee Daily Review. Bisbee, Arizona: W.B. Kelly. July 7, 1920. pp. 1–8. ISSN 2157-3255. OCLC 11363144. Retrieved July 7, 2020 – via Chronicling America.
- "Officer of the Law Assaults Innocent Girls" (PDF). New York Age. New York City. September 4, 1920. OCLC 9274417. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
- Jeff Carlton (August 21, 2009). "Riot Police Storm Texas Town After Black, White Protesters Clash Over Dragging Death". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
- Howard Witt (February 25, 2009). "Racism bedevils Texas town". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- Howard Witt (March 31, 2007). "Girl in prison for shove gets released early". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- Alejandra Cancino (February 10, 2015). "Sara Lee discriminated against black employees, attorneys say". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
- "Workers Targets of Racist Behavior at Sara Lee Plant: EEOC". NBC Channel 5 Dallas–Fort Worth. February 10, 2015. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
- Boyd, Matthew. "Paris officers remember deadly tornado of 1982". Archived from the original on October 27, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- "NOAA Online Weather Data – NWS Dallas/Fort Worth". National Weather Service. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
- "U.S. Climate Normals Quick Access – Station: Paris, TX (1991–2020)". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
- "U.S. Climate Normals Quick Access – Station: Paris, TX (1981–2010)". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
- "PARIS". Texas Almanac. November 22, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "2020 ACS 5-Year Selected Social Characteristics". Data.census.gov. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
- "2020 ACS 5-Year Households and Families Estimates". Data.census.gov. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
- "Explore Census Data". Data.census.gov. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
- "US Census". Census.gov. Archived from the original on December 27, 1996. Retrieved October 29, 2023.
- "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". Census.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
- Frey, William H. (July 1, 2020). "The nation is diversifying even faster than predicted, according to new census data". Brookings. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
- Bureau, US Census. "The Chance That Two People Chosen at Random Are of Different Race or Ethnicity Groups Has Increased Since 2010". Census.gov. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
- "Major employers". parisedc.com. Archived from the original on April 18, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
- "Comprehensive Annual Financial report for City of Paris, Texas" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 2, 2016. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
- Tx State Historical Commission (1984). "Scott Mansion – Texas State Historical Marker". Stoppingpoints.com.
- [dead link]
- "PARIS Post Office™ Location". May 7, 2010. Archived from the original on May 7, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2023.
- "Paris Public Library - Paris". Paristexas.gov.
- "TRAX: About the Transportation Program". Ark-Tex Council of Governments. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
- "What Can Public Transit Deserts Learn From Paris, Texas?". Texas Monthly. November 28, 2023. Retrieved November 30, 2023.