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County
Navarro
Region
Praries & Lakes
Population
2010 Census - 1,573
2000 Census - 1,681
Nearby
Towns
Kerens, Texas
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Kerens Texas History:
In 1881, the St. Louis Southwestern Railway constructed a line through the Navarro County and surveyed 270 acres for townsite of Kerens. The town was named after Saint Louis Judge R.C. Kerens. Corsicana attorneys Samuel R. Frost and Bryan F. Barry purchased the plat and sold town lots in 1881-1882. Because the community of Wadeville was bypassed by the railroad, most of its businesses and residents moved to Kerens to be closer to the railroad. The Kerens post office was established in 1882. The town incorporated in 1888. By 1896 the town had 500 residents. The population peaked in 1929 at 1,800. The Texas State Fair’s Big Tex started life in Kerens as the world’s largest Santa Claus. He was built by local residents and erected in the middle of Colket Avenue during the 1948 and 1949 Christmas seasons. From there he warmly welcomed passersby during the holidays. In 1950, he was adopted by the State Fair of Texas and became Big Tex. Downtown Kerens features beautiful red brick streets. The town is billed as the “Birthplace of Big Tex.” Kerens is located at the intersections of SH 309, SH 31 (2nd Street), FM 667 and FM 3096, 69 miles southeast of Dallas, 34 miles southeast of Ennis and Lake Bardwell, 59 miles southwest of Tyler, 22.6 miles southwest of Athens, 8 miles southwest of Trinidad, 22.6 miles southwest of Athens, 47 miles northwest of Palestine, 46 miles north of Fairfield and Fairfield Lake State Park, 54 miles northeast of Groesbeck, 43 miles northeast of Mexia, 35 miles northeast of Dawson and Navarro Mills Lake, and 14.8 miles northeast of Corsicana, Texas.
 
Historic City of Kerens, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“The Texas & St. Louis Railway built its narrow gauge line through Navarro County in 1881 and surveyed a 270-acre townsite here. The settlement was named for Richard C. Kerens (1842-1918), an official of the railroad in St. Louis, Missouri, who evidently never saw the town.  Streets and blocks were laid out in relation to the railroad, and some streets were named for railroad officials: Senter, Humphreys, Goodman, and Sloss, renamed for Kerens' daughter Mrs. Hamilton Colket, who visited here in 1941. The railroad became standard gauge in 1887, and was renamed St. Louis Southwestern in 1891. Isolated cotton farmers moved from the prairie into the new town, and many residents of Wadeville (then two miles south) transferred their homes and businesses. In 1883 Theophilus Smith Daniel (1851-1933) moved his 1878 house from Wadeville to 200 S. Throckmorton Street in Kerens. Daniel was elected in 1888 to the first city council and was president of the first bank, established in 1900.  The first cotton gin was built in 1883, and cotton seed oil was processed after 1899. City gins produced 23,000 bales of cotton in 1933. The building of a state highway in 1931 along Second Street, and decline of the cotton industry greatly altered Kerens' growth and economy.”
 
Kerens Public Library:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. Open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat, 9am-Noon; closed Sunday, and Mon-Fri from 1pm-1:30pm. (903) 396-2665. 121 South Colket Street. Email
 
Annual Kerens Homecoming Event and Parade, Late Sept or Early Oct:  
Activities include the 10am downtown parade, a BBQ lunch from 11am-1pm, and the high school football game and pageant.(903) 396-2971.
 
Annual Cotton Row Run, Oct:
(903) 396-2971.
 
Annual Kerens Cotton Harvest Festival, a Saturday in October:
This festival celebrates the days when workers picked the cotton crops and came to town on Saturdays to spend some of their earnings. Today cotton is harvested manually and there is only one area cotton gin. Activities include the 5K Cotton Row run, live music, a street dance, chili cook-off, cake contest, quilt show, antique tractor show, a horseshow tournament, clay turkey shoot, a pancake breakfast (7am-9am), gin tours and trolley rides, mule wagon rides, raffles, an amateur photo contest, children’s activities, food vendors, the Heritage Craft and Co-Op Market, and more. This festival is sponsored by the Friends of the Kerens Library. All proceeds benefit the library. Open 9am-10pm. (903) 396-2665. This event is held on the red brick streets of downtown Kerens. Email 
 
El San Luis Mexican Café:
They serve good Mexican food, and according reviewers, awesome green hot sauce. (903) 396-2133. 105 South Colket Avenue. Reviews
 
Double D Steakhouse & Private Club: 
They serve good chicken fried steak, chicken fried chicken at Thursday lunch, salads, steaks, and very good garlic cheese biscuits. (903) 396-2789. 925 Northwest 2nd Street. Reviews