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Robinson quoted a description of the county penned about 1810, in which the writer stated that the county had no towns and that the county seat at Fagensville was "...a village at the Court House containing 8 or 10 dwelling Houses...[and] the only place that claims a title to the Name...." [Robinson — p.106] Carthage remained small and relatively undeveloped for the first four to five decades of the nineteenth century, with its population only about 150 during the 1830s and 1840s.[Wellman — p.6] Little remains of the small number of buildings erected during that period. John Shaw House (508 Mc Reynolds Street) contains elements, including a raised six-panel door and an exposed section of beaded siding with rosehead nails, which suggest that some part of the house was built during the first or second quarter of the nineteenth century.
It also contains both vernacular and sophisticated examples of many of the architectural styles prevalent during that long period.
It passed directly through Carthage where, on the western side of town, it later became present-day Mc Reynolds Street.
[Wellman — pp.18-19; Lefler and Newsome 395] In 1852, W. Jenkins donated land on the south side of the plank road/Mc Reynolds Street, about three blocks west of the courthouse, to the local Methodist congregation for construction of a new church.
[Robinson — pp.103-104: Carthage General Plan — p.43; Wellman — p.12] In 1796, approximately sixty acres were laid out around a public square for the courthouse, and the new seat was named Carthage.
Sixty-four lots, in groups of four, were marked off in a grid pattern radiating from the square for a distance of two blocks in each direction.