Clarksville was first designated the county seat of Red River County by a vote of the people in 1835, and chartered as a town by the Congress of Texas in December, 1837. This charter was subsequently renewed by the Legislature of the State of Texas, and finally in 1870 Clarksville reached the required population, 1,000 persons to be exact, and was permitted a charter as the City of Clarksville. The first courthouse was erected on the public square, James Clark having provided that from the sale of all lots fronting on the public square, the proceeds should be used for the purpose of erecting a county courthouse. Gilbert Clark, a brother of James Clark, was a carpenter and helped erect the courthouse. This building was covered with boards and the roof was put on with wooden pegs instead of nails, it being impossible at that time to secure nails. Gilbert Clark was the great-grandfather of Mrs. John A. Bagby, now living in this county.
Articles of incorporation were granted the town of Clarksville by the Republic of Texas in December, 1837, and soon afterwards Mr. Bob Hamilton, who lived then on what we know now as the "ridge" or divide between Sulphur and Red River near what is now the village of Madras, was appointed the first county judge of Red River County. Quite a great many of the descendants of Judge Hamilton now live in Red River County. From 1837 up until the annexation of Texas to the Union in 1845-46 there is very little record