Franklin County : Texas

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What it's Like to Retire in Franklin County

Franklin County is located in Northeast Texas, 72 miles southwest of Texarkana and 96 miles northeast of Dallas on Interstate 30.  Mount Vernon, the county seat, has been selected a Main Street City because of its historic preservation, museums, a diversified community of gifted artists, and a superb quality of life.  Franklin County (population just over 10,000) has been designated a certified retirement community by the Texas Department of Agriculture.  The county has a growing retirement community around Lake Cypress Springs and the City of Mount Vernon.  The lake has twice been voted the "most beautiful lake" in Texas by D Magazine. 


Where to Retire in Franklin County and Home Prices

This figure is skewed due to the large $1-$4 million estates built on Lake Cypress Springs by business owners and financially independent persons from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The average new or restored historic home in either the unincorporated county or City of Mount Vernon (county seat) is between $100,000 and $200,000 as of January 2013.


What is special about Franklin County

Named a certified retirement community by State of Texas. The City of Mount Vernon, county seat for Franklin Co., was selected as one of the State of Texas' original Texas Treasure cities. Mount Vernon is a Main Street and Keep Texas Beautiful city. Lake Cypress Springs, located 10 miles south of Mount Vernon, was twice named the "Most Beautiful Lake in Texas". 

Mount Vernon is the home of the late Don Meredith, the first quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys football team, actor and sports color comentator. An exhibit in a local museum honors him. Other unique exhibits are that of the extinct Carolina Parakeet, Passenger Pigeon and Heath Hen eggs, which are on public display no where else in the world.

Country charm and friendly atmosphere uniquely blended with a selection of diverse events and activities - Mount Vernon, Texas is a great place to retire. A resident can live a quiet existence, or an extremely active one, with lots of levels in between.


What is not special about Franklin County

The county is completely dry (no alcohol). However, the City of Mount Vernon is scheduled to vote to allow beer and wine sales in grocery and convience stores, and local restaurants in May 2013. Either way access is available now just over the county line in Winfield, seven miles east of Mount Vernon. The City of Mount Vernon's Main Street program hosts two wine festivals annually on the downtown plaza (May and October) with 15-20 wineries participating.


Who will like retirement in Franklin County

There are more than 200 lakes and more than 20 golf courses within an hour's drive; the top two "best disc golf courses in the world" are 20 minutes from downtown; there are two wine festivals, a regional bicycle ride with four courses, a fall CountryFest with 150 booths, antique car show, stew and chili cook-offs, a Christmas festival with animated windows, rodeos, historic places to visit and volunteer, and shopping, as well as the premiere quality chamber music venues anywhere in east Texas. Named one of Texas' original "Texas Treasure" cities, Mount Vernon is the place to live, work and play.


Local economy is driven by

...its situation as a bedroom community with outstanding schools, healthcare and tourist/retirement recrational opportunities. There is nearby employment for residents still in the job market as a variety of industries. Not being next to the smells of heavy industry, keeps the community green and clean. Area employers, outside of retail, include Lowe's Regional Distribution Center, TXU Mining, 5-9 commercial food processing plants, two oil/gas refigning/storage facilities, a steel mill, and a variety of other small businesses.


Climate and Physical Environment

Weather in Franklin County, Texas boasts (long or short) shirt sleeve weather for seven to eight months of the year.

Average temperatures range from an average low of 30.2 degrees in January to an average high of 89.3 degrees in August. Average annual rainfall is 46.24 inches.

Then the extremes: Temperatures as high as 108 degrees were recorded in August and September 2000. Temperatures reached 100 degrees and above daily for 18 days that year.

The temperature dipped to -5 degrees on Dec. 23, 1989. During that bitter cold snap, temperatures were in the teens from Dec. 22 to Dec. 25, and below freezing for eight consecutive days.The average July high temperature is 93 and the average January low is 32.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The premiere quality chamber music venue anywhere in east Texas, Mount Vernon Music Hall, is located at 402 Leftwich St., four blocks southwest of the Mount Vernon plaza. The mission of Mount Vernon Music is to provide and develop the appreciation for high quality performance of live music. They offer concerts of traditional chamber music, jazz and other styles as well as educational and family concerts, programs for nursing homes, and interaction of performing and the visual arts. Check out their performance calendar, memberships, and video clips of past performances at their website .

The Franklin County Arts Alliance provides venues for visual artists to display their work (Cultural Arts Center / Old Jail Art Museum) as well as hosting shows by regional and nationally recognized artists. Their is an active community of artists in and around the county in a variety of media, including oils, watercolor, acrylic, pottery and sculpture. Workshops on visual arts techniques, music and crafts are offered at various times throughout the year. Check out their website at .

There are offerings by the East Texas Symphony in Tyler and popular entertainment at local area community colleges (within an hour's drive), as well as national touring group performances of varied genre within a two hour drive (Dallas 96 miles west, Texarkana 72 miles east).



Crime is low in Franklin County.


Medical facilities

The nearest hospital ETMC Mount Vernon is on Hwy. 37 in Mount Vernon.

There are 54 patient beds, with the latest in diagnostic and telemetry equipment in house.

Emergency care physicians are in house and available 24-7.

The hospital is part of the East Texas Medical Center system and is rated as a IV trama center.

Medical helicopter transport is available for any critical injury or medical condition.

ETMC's First Physician Clinic is located adjacent to the hospital grounds and staffed with top doctors and physician's assistants.

Three other doctor's clinics offer family care. There are also three dentists, and a chriopractor to serve resident's healthcare needs.



Ninety-five percent of the adults in the county own their own vehicle for transportation.

However, Northeast Texas Opportunities, Inc. (NETO) provides transportation services to the area.

They offer a mini-bus for shopping trips, as well as a private auto and driver for special trips, i.e. to the doctor.


Valuable Links

Mount Vernon Information          Franklin County News & Events

Mount Vernon Main Street Director 903-537-4070 or

Franklin County Chamber of Commerce - 903-537-4365 or


What people are saying about Franklin County

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  • State: TX
  • Environment: Rural,Lake,Farming or Agricultural,
  • City Population: 10,000-25,000
  • Median age of Population: 45-64
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 41-60
  • Avg July Temperature: 81+
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $200,001-$300,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Cost of Living Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Culture Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: No
  • Name of the Guide: LM

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