Hamlin is on U.S. Highway 83 in northwest Jones and northeast Fisher counties. It was established in anticipation of construction of the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway. R. D. Moore conveyed land to the Orient Land Company in 1902. Town organization followed in 1905. Hamlin was named for Orient official W. H. Hamlin. The Orient reached Hamlin in 1906 and was followed by the Texas Central Railroad within a couple of years and by the Abilene and Southern in 1910. Only the Orient, later a part of the Santa Fe, has survived. The Abilene and Southern stopped service in the late 1930s, and the Southern Pacific in 1977. Business boomed with the rail service, and the town included gins, a cottonseed oil mill, and a number of other businesses. Oil discoveries in the 1920s also contributed to the economy. The population was 2,406 in 1940 and 3,564 in 1950. The Hamlin Herald was first published in 1906 and survived other papers. Hamlin gained a hospital in 1948. The county's first gypsum plant was built six miles west in 1903 and became a major area employer, in later years the Celotex Corporation. Eighty businesses were reported in 1970. The population was 3,791 in 1960 and 3,325 in 1970. Part of the 1980 population of 3,248 resided in Fisher County. Hamlin is a center for farming and varied manufacturing and part of the Abilene Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 1990 the population was 2,791, but by 2000 it had dropped to 2,248.