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Texas Brazos Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Franklin


A LIBRARY WITH LONGEVITY

Franklin, first known as Morgan, was established in 1872 along the right-of-way of the International Railway Company. By 1879 there were 200 residents, three stores and a depot, and Robertson County voters decided the county seat should be moved from Calvert. Trouble was, when the town applied for a post office the name Morgan was already taken, so the young railroad town took the name Franklin.

The white limestone Robertson County Courthouse, build in 1882, was designed by architect F.E. Ruffini in the Second Empire style with mansard roof and cornices that have been replace through later remodels. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a distinction in Franklin shared with their landmark Carnegie Library. Industrialist Andrew Carnegie’s national grant program helped build 32 libraries in Texas in the early twentieth century, primarily in small rural communities. Franklin’s library was built in 1914 with a $7,500 grant and designed in the Renaissance Revival style. Beautifully restored, this is one of the few Carnegie Libraries still operating in Texas and is worth a stop to appreciate the architecture and vital community use of this treasure.  


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