2000 Census - 3,094
Fairfield Texas History:
The site was originally called Mound Prairie. In 1850, Mound Prairie was renamed Fairfield when it was chosen as the county seat of the newly formed Freestone County. Donald Hall Love donated 100 acres for the townsite. From 1851 to 1852, 128 town lots were sold for prices ranging from $6 to $101. New settlers were attracted to the town because of the rich farmland, the vast amounts of timber, the clear springs, and the nearby Trinity River. The Fairfield post office was established in 1851. The first Freestone County Courthouse was built in 1852. This small wooden building was described as being "no better than a pigsty.” Freestone County was one of four Texas counties in which martial law was declared during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War. By 1884, Fairfield had two hotels, four general stores, five groceries, and served as a shipping point for cotton and hides. In 1906, the Trinity and Brazos Valley built a line through Freestone County bypassing Fairfield by ten miles. Although the lack of a railroad did not cause Fairfield to decline, it did deprive it of a strong economic stimulus. In 1891 and 1918, the need for a new courthouse led to county-seat elections in which Fairfield remained county seat by defeating Wortham and Teague, respectively. Fairfield was the site of annual Confederate Veterans reunions from 1890 to 1931 and again in 1933. The reunions were held on land donated by William Lewis Moodyand his brother Leroy. In 1951, the town held its centennial celebration on the old reunion campground. The success of the centennial led the townspeople to begin holding an annual rodeo-homecoming festival, which evolved into the county fair held each November. In 1989, the town’s major industries were oil, gas, coal mining and agriculture. Freestone County is known for its ranches and peach orchards. Fairfield and Fairfield Lake State Park are located at the intersections of IH-45, SH 75, U.S. 84, FM 27, FM 488 and FM 2547, 90 miles southeast of Dallas, 34 miles southeast of Corsicana, 18 miles southeast of Wortham, 14.6 miles southeast of Streetman and the Richard Chambers Reservoir, 46 miles southwest of Athens, 35.8 miles slightly southwest of Palestine and the Texas State Railroad, 35.5 miles northwest of Centerville, 28 miles northwest of Oakwood and the Keechi Creek WMA, 20 miles northwest of Buffalo, 60 miles northeast of Franklin, 64 miles northeast of Waco, 60 miles north of Gun Barrel City and the Cedar Creek Reservoir & WMA, 44 miles northeast of Thornton, 41.7 miles northeast of Lake Limestone (reservoir), 35 miles northeast of Groesbeck, 23 miles northeast of Mexia, and ten miles northeast of Teague, Texas.
Freestone County Courthouse, 1919:
The red brick courthouse was designed in classical revival style by architect W.R. Kaufman. The cannon from the Battle of Val Verde is located on the courthouse grounds. The cannon was brought from New Mexico and used on the eastern Texas front during the Civil War. The 2010 Freestone County census was 19,816.
Freestone County Jail, 1857:
The red brick jail was built in 1857 to meet fortress like specifications. The interior walls are 18 inches thick. The upstairs prison area had thick oak timber floors with an iron subfloor. The building housed the jail until 1913. The jail was remodeled in 1880. It is a Texas Historical Landmark, and now houses the Freestone County Heritage Museum.
Moody-Bradley House, 1860:
The house was built by W.L. Moody for his bride, Elizabeth Bradley. It is furnished with period pieces. It is the birthplace of W. L. Moody Jr., founder of the Moody Foundation in Galveston, Texas. The house is open by appointment. Open Tue-Fri, 9:30am-5:30pm. (903) 389-7008. (903) 389-2945. 318 Moody Street.
Freestone County Heritage Museum:
The main museum is housed in the 1857 Freestone County Jail. Other museum buildings include the two-story Carter log home filled with period pieces, the Potter-Watson log cabin, and the 2007 Bass Family building. All three of the older buildings are said to be haunted. The museum exhibits from the Old Jail have been moved to the Bass building. The museum features permanent and rotating exhibits depicting the history of Freestone County and the surrounding areas. Exhibits include the real G.I. Joe, and the famous "Yellow Rose of Texas" Rhinestone Cadillac. The museum also houses genealogical records, microfilm archives, county research records, and family histories. Guided tours are available. Open Wed, Fri & Sat, 10am-4pm. A small admission fee applies. (903) 389-3738. 118 E. Main Street, Fairfield. Email
Mary Moody Northern Municipal Library:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. (903) 389-3574. 350 West Main Street.