Friends and Neighbors: Meeting Mount Vernon

By Enola Gay Mathews

During April, beautiful Mount Vernon, Texas has claimed most of my time and attention. Mainly because my boss dispatched me there to gauge the interest of the residents and businesspeople in having their own newspaper! The response has been overwhelming, and thus a separate and stand-alone Mount Vernon News is soon to become a reality.

In fact, the first issue will be May 5, 2022 and will mark the end of the news desert for the city.  If you have friends, or family, in and around Mount Vernon, share their joy in once again having a local, hometown publication. Doesn’t every vibrant community deserve a newspaper? And this brand new one will be named for the city it serves.

In early April, the scenic drive on Highway 37 between Winnsboro and Mount Vernon was actually my first-ever drive along that route. Because I live in Sulphur Springs,  I’d always traveled to Mount Vernon via I-30, where the scenery is mostly trucks! That day, I landed in the heart of the town on the public square, where I was charmed by its well-groomed appearance and historic character.

Then, I began to meet people. Stepping inside the door of the Franklin County Public Library, I heard my name called, and looking around, I saw library clerk, Christian Galloway, waving hello. It had been 10 years or more since I’d met her at the Center for the Arts! Going over to the Courthouse to locate a place for a newspaper rack, I gained almost immediate access to both the Treasurer and the Auditor, who took time to be quite helpful.

 I accidentally crashed the businessmen’s ‘breakfast club’ at Dairy Queen when I arrived before opening time! Volunteers at the Franklin County Genealogical Society Library greeted me as long-lost family because they remembered my voice from KSST Radio.

I enjoy people-watching. Strangers who, passing through Mount Vernon for a quick bite or a place to shop, seem to feel equally as charmed and welcomed as I do. Over the weeks, banks to boutiques, funeral parlors to insurance agents, all have been eager to sign up to advertise their businesses in the new paper. Mount Vernon’s friendliness and graciousness as well as its pride in churches, schools and community is evident and well-earned. George Washington’s dear Mount Vernon in Alexandria, Virginia is more than a beautiful verdant property. It is a lovely, peaceful home supporting numerous businesses. And so is its namesake and our neighbor, Mount Vernon, Texas!