Who was the ‘Father of Longview’?

So, who was the man we call the “Father of Longview”?

In Rosa Richkie Lamb’s 1928 “History of Gregg County and Longview,” the 1870 naming of the new village is related thusly: “The name ‘Longview’ was given the town at the time the town site was laid off, by the engineers who were surveying the route for the extension of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

“There were two engineers, and while they were resting on Methvin Hill they looked through the large open forest on the south in the direction of Sabine River and saw objects a long distance away.

“The land on which they were standing was owned by O.H. Methvin Sr., and they remarked to him, ‘You certainly have a long view from here, and we believe that the town should be called Longview.’”

Methvin strongly agreed with the surveyors’ suggestion and “Longview” was born.

Ossamus Hitch Methvin Sr., a Georgia native, came to East Texas about 1848 and bought 1,200 acres. He was a farmer and a wagonmaker. He built a three-story home on Rock Hill (also known as Methvin Hill). The Gregg County Courthouse stands today in what was once Methvin’s cornfield.

In April 1870, Methvin deeded to the Southern Pacific Railroad 100 acres of land for one dollar. In October 1870 he sold an additional 50 acres to the railroad for $500 in gold.

Methvin’s monetary gift ensured that Longview would become an East Texas railroad center. The first railroad train rolled into Longview in February 1871. With the 1873 formation of Gregg County, Longview became the county seat.

O.H. Methvin Sr., the “Father of Longview,” died in February 1882. He lies buried in Longview’s historic downtown Greenwood Cemetery.