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Freestone County TX
Freestone County



WORTHAM, TEXAS

Freestone County, North Central Texas

31.788472, -96.462209
Highway 14 and FM 27
16 Miles W of Fairfield
Population: 1,084 (2010) 1,082 (2000)

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Wortham Tx Building
Wortham Architecture
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2007

History in a Pecan Shell

The town is situated on land that was granted to Englishman Robert B. Longbotham by Mexico in 1834, predating the Texas Revolution. Things didnít get started from a community point of view until the Houston and Texas Central Railroad came through in 1871.

Longbotham sold the railroad a right-of-way for a token five dollars and a townsite was purchased (presumably for more than five dollars) by an investment group that planned to name the town Tehuacana. When a post office was opened, however, the name was changed to Long Bottom. The corrupted name only lasted until 1874 when it was renamed to honor Col. Rice Wortham, a merchant who had coaxed the railroad into making the town a stop on their line.

In 1885 Wortham was still a very small place with a population of just 30 residents.

The 1890s provided the much-needed growth and by 1914 there were 950 people calling Wortham home.

The next spurt of growth occurred in 1924 when the Wortham field came in with a gusher from the Roy Simmons No. 1 well. In three weeks there were more than 300 derricks spotting the landscape.

Wortham joined the list of Texas boomtowns with the population jumping from 1,000 to 30,000 by 1925.

The overwhelmed infrastructure came near the breaking point and lawlessness and chaos threatened the community. In 1927 the wells started losing production and the population dropped back to a manageable 2,000 for 1929.

The Great Depression took a hard swipe at Wortham, reducing businesses by one third. The population declined to a low by 1975 that nearly matched the 1914 census of 950.

See
Wortham Churches

Wortham Images
People

Wortham Churches

Photos courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2007
Wortham Tx Baptist Church
Wortham Baptist Church
Wortham Tx Central Presbyterian Church
Wortham Central Presbyterian Church
Wortham United Methodist Church
First United Methodist Church
Wortham United Methodist Church Historical Marker
Wortham United Methodist Church Historical Marker
WorthamTx Chapel
Chapel
More Texas Churches

More Wortham Images

Photos courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2007
Wortham Tx US post office

Post office
More Texas Post Offices

Wortham Tx Bounds Hardware store
Bounds Hardware
Bounds Hardware ghost sign
Bounds Hardware ghost sign
Lone Star ghost sign
Lone Star ghost sign
More Texas Ghost Signs
Wortham Gym
"1940 Wortham Gym"
Wortham Gym, Wortham Texas
Wortham Gym
Photos courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2007

People

Blind Lemon by Bob Bowman

Born on the western fringes of East Texas in 1897, Blind Lemon Jefferson was one of our most famous blues musicians....

Jefferson was buried in the black cemetery at Wortham... One of his best-known songs was "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean". The good folks of Freestone County have dutifully followed his wishes. more

Texas Escapes' 1700th Town, November 12, 2007

Wortham, Texas Area Towns:

Fairfield
See Freestone County | North Central Texas

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Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.


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