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Emma loses out to Crosbyton as county seat

September
17
1910

On this day in 1910, Crosbyton defeated Emma in an election to determine the Crosby County seat by a vote of 198 to 120. The once prosperous town of Emma traces its origins to the fall of 1890, when 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. Emma replaced Estacado as county seat in October 1891. 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. 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. By October 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. A Texas historical marker on State Highway 207 twenty-five miles east of Lubbock is all that remains to mark the site of Emma.

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