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Emma, Texas

Emma is located west of Highway 207 and north of County Road 188, about 25 miles east of Lubbock.

History

Emma was once thriving county seat of Crosby County. In the fall of 1890 R. L. Stringfellow and H. E. Hume, owners of a general store in Estacado, purchased a section of land in the central part of the county. In 1890 a post office opened, and in 1891 Stringfellow and Hume laid out a town on this site and named it Emma, after the woman that one of them later married.

As settlers from Estacado and East Texas started moving into the area, residents of Emma called for a county-seat election, hoping to lure businesses to the new community. On October 14, 1891, the election was held, and Emma defeated Estacado by a vote of 109 to 103. Sometime after this the courthouse that had been built at Estacado in 1887 or 1888 was brought to Emma, where it was the most impressive building in town. Several businesses were also moved to Emma from Estacado, including the Crosby County News, edited by J. W. Murray, and the general store of Stringfellow and Hume, which was the largest business to be established in Emma. With new businesses moving in, Emma prospered, and by 1910 the town had several churches, a post office, a school, a bank, and an estimated population of 800.

Unfortunately, in 1910 the railroad came through the county and bypassed the town by five miles. On September, 17, 1910, Crosbyton defeated Emma in a new county seat election by a vote of 198 to 120. By October 1910 the majority of residents had moved from Emma to Crosbyton. Many of the business buildings and several residences were moved across the prairie to Crosbyton in a caravan consisting of four engines, thirty men, and twenty-two mules. The old courthouse was torn down and hauled to Cedric. In 1911 the post office was moved to Ralls, and Emma became a ghost town. Source: Handbook fo Texas Online.

Emma. In the spring of 1891, merchants R.L. Stringfellow and H.E. Hume of nearby Estacado founded the town of Emma, named in honor of Stringfellow's future wife, Emma Savior (or Sevall). The two men organized a general store and laid out the townsite, which opened with a picnic and town lots sale. In the fall of that year, the county seat was moved from Estacado to Emma; residents dismantled the Estacado courthouse and moved it piece by piece to its new site on Emma's town square. Along with the courthouse came many of Estacado's businesses, including the Crosby County News, edited by J.W. Murray. Land speculators, including Julian Bassett of C.B. Livestock Co. and John R. Ralls, founder of the town of Ralls, also came to the area. During the next two decades, Emma experienced a boom. By 1910, the town had several hundred residents, supporting a post office, the Meyer Hotel and a school. That year, however, the South Plains Railroad bypassed the community by approximately five miles, traveling from Lubbock to Crosbyton. Later, Ralls became an additional stop along the railway. County residents voted in a disputed election to move the county seat to Crosbyton. Soon most of Emma's residences and businesses were moved to Crosbyton and Ralls; the old courthouse was hauled to Cedric, where it served as housing and was eventually razed. Although the area around Emma is still agricultural, the former county seat quickly became a ghost town as residents moved to other communities. Today, the Emma Cemetery is the only remaining link to the men and women who once inhabited the town. (1968, 2004) - Historical Marker Text.  Marker located approx. 3.8 miles S of intersection of SH 207 and US 82/114.

Emma Cemetery. Burial site of 12 Civil War veterans and County's first settlers, H. C. and Elizabeth Smith (died 1912 and 1925). Established in 1891 on land donated by J. W. Holt for the grave of his brother-in-law, Levi Jones. Land was bought by R. L. and R. R. Travis and deeded to Crosby County in 1917. - Historical Marker Text. Marker erected 1968.

Emma Cemetery at texascemeteries.org

Location

33° 36' 41.58" N, 101° 24' 44.172" W