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Emma, TX

Mary L. Cox General Entry

A Texas historical marker on State Highway 207 twenty-five miles east of Lubbock is all that remains to mark the site of Emma, the 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.

Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum, A History of Crosby County, 1876–1977 (Dallas: Taylor, 1978). Crosbyton Golden Jubilee, Blanco Canyon Cavalcade: Official Souvenir Program (Crosbyton, Texas, 1958). Nellie Witt Spikes and Temple Ann Ellis, Through the Years: A History of Crosby County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1952).


  • Communities

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Mary L. Cox, “Emma, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed April 17, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995