EPWORTH, TEXAS. Epworth, which later split into Old and New Epworth, was established as a post office in central Hale County in June 1884 by Horatio Graves, a Methodist minister who reportedly was then the only resident of the county. Graves, who planned to found a colony of Methodists in the area, named the post office for the birthplace of John Wesley. A few settlers moved to the region, and mail was brought from Estacado on horseback and distributed in Graves's home, where he also kept a store to furnish supplies to settlers and to cowboys of the Yellow House Division of the XIT Ranch. In March 1891 Graves moved the Epworth post office to a site two miles from Hale City and organized the Hale County Townsite Company. By 1893 New Epworth had a school, general store, hotel, livery stable, and newspaper. A decline in settlement caused by a drought led the Epworth citizens to unite with those of Hale City, which had been established in 1891. The inhabitants abandoned the two settlements and moved to what is now the site of Hale Center, where the combined town took that name.
Ed Ellsworth Bartholomew, 800 Texas Ghost Towns (Fort Davis, Texas: Frontier, 1971). Vera D. Wofford, ed., Hale County Facts and Folklore (Lubbock, 1978).