Red River County Historical Society

The DeMorse House

The DeMorse House, Clarksville, Texas

Home of Col. Charles DeMorse

This home on East Comanche Street is the oldest home in Clarksville, having been built in 1833 by Isaac Smathers. History has it that Mr. Smathers traveled to this area and was persuaded by James Clark to remain and help start the town.

Clark and several others helped Smathers to erect a small two-room log cabin, which was the first “real” home in Clarksville. In 1842, Charles DeMorse moved to Clarksville and purchased the home. DeMorse was the founder and publisher of The Northern Standard, the second oldest newspaper in the state of Texas only to the Galveston Daily News. DeMorse is commonly referred to as the “Father of Texas Journalism.”

DeMorse expanded and improved the home, adding siding, a second story, more rooms, a detached kitchen and porches. Somewhat of an Anglophile, DeMorse added the English style chimney pots on the chimney.

DeMorse served as a Colonel in the War Between the States with the 29th Texas Cavalry. After the war, the paper was known only as The Standard.

DeMorse descendants continued to occupy the home until 1975, when his granddaughter, Isabella DeMorse Latimer died. The home is owned by the Red River County Historical Society. The home is a recorded Texas Historical Landmark, received a 1936 Texas Centennial Award marker and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A Texas Department of Transportation Grant provided funds to partially restore the outside of the home. The Historical Society is currently planning to begin work on the foundation and restoration of the interior.

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