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    AMHERST, TEXAS

    Lamb County, Texas Panhandle / West Texas
    On FM 37 near US 84
    8 Miles NW of Littlefield

    Population: 791 (2000)

    Amherst, Texas Area Hotels:
    Littlefield Hotels

    Amherst Texas - Closed Cotton Gin
    Closed Cotton Gin
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009

    History in a Pecan Shell

    Rancher William Halsell, owner of the Mashed O Ranch, was happy to see a railroad shipping point arrive here in 1913 as part of the Pecos and Northern Texas Railroad.

    The townsite was laid out in 1923 and the town-to-be was named for Amherst College in Massachusetts by one of the railroad officers.

    A post office opened the following year and by 1930 the number of residents neared 1,000. Amherst’s pride was their hotel. It became a popular stopping point for travelers between Lubbock and Clovis, New Mexico.

    The Great Depression reduced the population and the 1940 Census showed 749 residents. The town wasn’t incorporated until 1970 when the population was recorded at just over 800. It increased to 971 for the 1980 census. It was reported at 742 for 1990 and 791 in the year 2000.

    "Town of Amherst" Historical Marker >

    Amherst, Texas Landmarks >

    Amherst Texas Historical Marker
    Amherst Historical Marker on FM 37 next to Amherst city hall
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
    Historical Marker Text:
    Town of Amherst
    Began in 1913 as a cattle-shipping point on Pecos and Northern Texas Railroad. Served the 300,000-acre Spring Lake Ranch, which was established in 1902 by W.E. "Colonel Bill" Halsell (1850-1934) and his son Ewing Halsell (1877-1965). According to local tradition the shipping point was named for Amherst College, Mass., alma mater of one of the railway officials.

    When, in 1923, the economy of the High Plains began to switch from ranching to farming, the Halsells divided much of their land to sell to the influx of new settlers. Farms could be bought for $25 an acre.

    They set aside land at the railroad depot for a town and donated lots for a school and churches. First permanent building was the Amherst Hotel, built by Halsell Land Company for prospective buyers and visitors. It also had space for a bank, general store, and office. For years it was the most popular hotel between Clovis, NM and Lubbock, TX.

    The first general store was opened in 1923, a post office in 1924, and the First National Bank in 1925. The town's first newspaper was the "Argus". By 1930 Amherst had a population of 964. Today (1972) citizens number 835 and the economy is based on cotton and grain, hog raising and cattle feeding.

    (1972)
    Amherst Today
    Amherst Texas - Closed Cotton Gin and Scale House

    Closed Cotton Gin and Scale House
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
    See Cotton & Cotton Gins

    Amherst Texas -  Mural showing Cotton, Gin  and Cattle
    Amherst Downtown Mural
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
    See Cotton & Cotton Gins | More Texas Murals
    Amherst Texas - Husk Burner
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
    Amherst Texas City Limit
    Amherst City Limit
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
    Amherst Texas Downtown
    Downtown Amherst
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
    Amherst Texas - Sprite ghost sign

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
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    Amherst Texas - closed lumber yard
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
    Amherst Texas - "City Garage"
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
    Amherst Texas - Watertowers
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
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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 of their town, please contact us.
    Amherst, Texas
    Area Destinations:

    Littlefield
    Plainview
    Lubbock
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    Plainview Hotels
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