Canton History 1919
Canton History Written in 1919
The county seat of Van Zandt county was laid out in 1850. The first term of the district court was opened in the new log cabin on the 7th day of September, 1850. Judge Orin Milo Roberts presided, in exchange with Bennet H. Martin, judge of the ninth district ; A. J. Fowler, district attorney ; B. W. Anderson, sheriff, and Allen Blair, clerk of said court.
It was said that Judge Roberts was at that time living at San Augustine, that it was then customary for all the lawyers to fall in with the judge and as they expressed it, "ride the circuit" with him. That when they reached the Neches river they threw heads and tails with a Mexican dollar to see who should swim across the river for a boat to cross over the stream on and Judge Roberts lost in the game and swam over and secured the boat.
The town is located near the geographical center of the county. On Mill creek, a tributary of the Sabine river, which creek is fed by numerous springs of pure freestone water. A brick courthouse stands near the center of the court plaza. Long rows of brick buildings encircle court square. A brick schoolhouse is located about half a mile to the south, a brick jail two blocks to the north of the courthouse. Two church buildings are located in the town, which has two strong banks. Numerous department stores and other business houses go to make up the quota and fill the demand for a well-developed country round about. Double daily car mail service is had from Edgewood, ten miles distance on the Texas and Pacific railroad, which is also the shipping point for the town, which has local and long distance telephone service, a modern hotel, two brick kilns, one lumber yard, one cotton gin, two corn mills, lodge halls for each, the Masons and Odd Fellows, and a weekly newspaper and a mayor, town council and marshal. - Some History of Van Zandt County, 1919