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The Naming of Athens, Texas

Dulcinea Ann Holland Brown is credited by the City of Athens with suggesting its name. She was born in Marengo County, Alabama on May 18, 1834. Her father, Thomas Anderson Holland died in Alabama sometime before 1842. Sometime after Thomas' death, his widow removed to Henderson County, Texas, where she married Judge John 'Red' Brown in 1851. Furthermore, in 1851 Dulcinea married E.J. Thompson, mentioned below. Unfortunately E.J. Thompson died about 1861 leaving Dulcinea a widow. Later she married Lt. James Averiette with whom she had two children, James and William.

The following describes the naming of Athens which is credited to Dulcinea.

"Athens, the County seat of Henderson County, was established by an act of the Texas Legislature in 1850 on a one square mile site of land donated by Matthew Cartwright. The city was incorporated in 1856. However, through a mischievous prank by several citizens the incorporation was abolished.

E. J. Thompson, County Clerk of Henderson County is credited with being the first citizen of Athens. Mrs. Dull [Dulcinea] Averiette named Athens in honor of Athens Greece. Mrs. Averiette felt the town would become the cultural center of the county. An interesting sequence of Mrs. Averiette's prophecy is that the new high school is now located in the exact spot on the tree shaded hill where the original Averiette home was built before the War between the states. This large rustic home burned several years ago and the Athens Public School System purchase the site, which included some 30 acres, and have built several new school buildings and playing fields there. The Averiette family lived there until the late twenties when the grandsons of Mrs. Averiette moved to California.

Source: City of Athens, Texas

Texas Historic Marker



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