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Panola County TX
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FAIR PLAY, TEXAS

Panola County, East Texas

Highway 79, FM 124 and FM 1251
11 miles W of Carthage the county seat
Population: 80 (2000, 1990)

Book Hotel Here › Carthage Hotels
TX - Fair Play, Panola County  country road
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, September 2010
History in a Pecan Shell

John Allison was an ambitious man who is credited with being Fair Play's first citizen. Allison was a storekeeper / blacksmith who also operated a boardinghouse. When Panola County was organized in 1846, John Allison became the first Panola County Judge.

A post office opened in 1851 and a traveler is said to have been the source of the town's name. He expressed his feelings about the fair dealings he had received and evidently John Allison submitted this praise on the post office application. By 1885, Fair Play had a population of 100 with two schools, two churches, and basic businesses. By 1890 it had declined by half and the post office closed in 1904. Mail was thereafter sent through Beckville.

The population was reported at 90 during the Great Depression and the school merged with those in Carthage. Although many residents left after WWII, it still reported a population of 80 for the 2000 census.

Carthage : Music from two country masters

(Excerpted from "THE EAST TEXAS SUNDAY DRIVE BOOK" by Bob Bowman)


"... At Beckville, take FM 124 and proceed in a southerly direction until you come to the community of Fair Play at the intersection with U.S. 79. Travelers supposedly gave the town its name in gratitude for the way they were treated at John Allison's store, hotel and blacksmith shop in the l850s. One legend tells the story of a young girl, member of a wagon train moving west, who died here and was buried in a local cemetery. Over the years, townspeople have tended to the grave as if it were one of their own. Just down the road from Fair Play is another rural village known as Rake Pocket, which supposedly got its name because merchants often cheated visitors.

From Fair Play, take U.S. 79 back to Carthage, completing your Sunday Drive."... Read full article

Fairplay TX, Panola County - Allison Chapel United Methodist Church
Allison Chapel United Methodist Church
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, September 2010
TX - Panola County Fairplay Baptist Church
Fairplay Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, September 2010
Fair Play, Texas - Jerusalem Baptist Church
The closed Jerusalem Baptist Church in Fair Play
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2006
More Texas Churches
TX - Fair Play, Panola County , corrugated tin
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, September 2010
TX - Fair Play, Panola County , ruins
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, September 2010
TX - Fair Play, Panola County  - CR 153 and CR 188 signs
CR 153 and CR 188 road signs
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, September 2010
Fair Play TX, Panola County info
Fair Play TX, Panola County 1891  postmark
Postcard canceled with Fair Play, TX 1891 postmark
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection

FAIR PLAY, TEXAS

by d.knape


An early Texan
came this way
found it so nice
he had to stay

He treated folks
in a fair way
hence the town
was named Fair Play

The town declined
folks moved away
but some remained
kindness held sway

Now dwindled down
few brave souls stay
who wants to move
when there's Fair Play.


© d.knape
"Once Upon A Line" - Light verse and poetry by d.knape

Take a road trip

Fair Play, Texas Nearby Towns:
Carthage the county seat
See Panola County | East Texas

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Carthage Hotels | More Hotels
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