Canton City Hall is located at 24980 Highway 64 East, Canton, TX 75103; phone: 903-567-1841.
Before the arrival of settlers from the east, Caddo and Cherokee tribes lived in the region that would one day become Canton and Van Zandt County. In 1839, the Native Americans were relocated from the region by the Republic of Texas government under President Mirabeau Lamar. After relocation and the subsequent cessation of hostile confrontations, the region soon experienced an increase in the amount of new settlements.
The Texas State Legislature re-established Van Zandt County in 1848 and named it after Republic leader Isaac Van Zandt. The State carved out land previously dedicated to Henderson County from Van Zandt County. As early as 1840, a group under the guidance of a Dr. W. P. King surveyed the County. However, a later survey, preformed by Jesse Stockwell, became the final survey upon which the County was based.
After the formation of Van Zandt County, the City of Canton was soon established and began to experience development. The City was first laid out and named by settlers moving from Old Canton in Smith County in 1850. That same year the first district courthouse and the fourth County post office opened.
Canton, unlike many other Texas cities, did not develop via a railroad running through the City. In 1872, the Texas and Pacific Railway laid a rail line approximately 10 miles to the north of the City. This rail line, while missing Canton, passed though the town of Willis Point. This situation became a point of contention between the two cities, due to the fact that the residents of Willis Point wanted the County officials to relocate the county seat to their community. As a result of the tension between the two cities, Canton business men, unwilling to use the Willis Point rail station, established the town of Edgewood 10 miles to the north of the City.