Ossamus Hitch Methvin, Sr., founder of Longview, son of Richard R. and Martha (Perdue) Methvin, was born in Lowndes County (later Baldwin County), Georgia, on March 10, 1815. His grandfather, the first Methvin to come to America from Edinburgh, Scotland, had immigrated in 1790. Richard and Ossamus came to Texas about 1848 and settled in Upshur County. Richard purchased 200 acres bordering the north side of the Cherokee Trace near the site of future Earpville. He was a wagonmaker and had a livery stable on the site, now the location of the post office. Ossamus Methvin married Margaret R. Perreau of New Orleans around 1835. He is listed in the 1840 census in Lowndes County, Georgia (then Alabama Territory). The couple had three sons. Methvin purchased land from James Earp that had been granted by patent from the state of Texas in 1848 and built a three-story house on Rock Hill. This hill supplied the rock for foundations of many buildings, such as the present First Presbyterian Church of Longview and the Gregg County Courthouse. A city water tower now stands on this hill, and the Gregg County Courthouse now stands in what was Methvin's cornfield. A state historical marker was placed on the courthouse lawn in 1984 by Methvin descendants. On April 7, 1870, Methvin deeded to the Southern Pacific Railroad 100 acres of land for one dollar, "believing that said road will enhance the value of lands along the line and near the same, and for the purpose of aiding therein, and opening up and developing the resources of the country." On September 28, 1870, he sold an addition 100 acres to the Southern Pacific for $500 in gold. During this time railroad surveyors, standing on the porch of Methvin's house on Rock Hill and looking out into the distance exclaimed, "What a long view!" Hence the name of the new town, which was incorporated in June 1871 and became the county seat. The first panel of grand jurors, sworn in on October 2, 1873, included him. He died on February 10, 1882, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery. A state historical marker was placed on his gravesite in 1988.
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Richard B. Levy, History of the Creation of Gregg County, Texas (MS, Genealogy Department, Longview Public Library, Longview, Texas). Longview Morning Journal, Centennial Edition, May 3, 1970. Texas Centennial Book Committee of Longview, Longview, Texas, Centennial (Longview, 1970?).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Beth Holloway Dodson,
“Methvin, Ossamus Hitch, Sr.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed July 06, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
April 1, 1995