Canton is a city in Van Zandt County, Texas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 5,142. It is the county seat of Van Zandt County. Canton was surveyed as Early as 1840 by a company of men under Dr. W. P. King. The community stands on the original survey of Jesse Stockwell, who arrived in the area at that time. No settlement was made until 1850, when the town was laid out and named by settlers moving from Old Canton in Smith County. The first district courthouse at Canton opened in 1850, and a Post office, the county's fourth, was established in that year.