Spearman, the county seat of Hansford County, is on State Highway 15 in the southeastern part of the county. It was platted in May 1917 in anticipation of construction of the North Texas and Santa Fe Railway. A post office opened that year. By that time E. C. Hays had a store near the site, which was named for Thomas E. Spearman, a vice president of the line. World War I delayed completion of the railroad from Shattuck, Oklahoma, until October 1919, but Spearman already was thriving; several churches and businesses had moved in from Hansford. Spearman remained the terminus of the railroad until 1931, when the line was extended to Morse and points south. The town was incorporated in 1921 and had thirty businesses, a brick school building, and a population of 1,000 by 1926. Although two disastrous fires (in 1922 and 1924) destroyed most of the business district, more durable buildings, brick streets, and an up-to-date water system were later built. In a 1929 county seat election Spearman defeated Hansford. Spearman businessmen generously aided other citizens during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. Many of the town's vacant lots were planted in wheat. Bumper wheat crops during World War II, the post-war building boom, and the oil and gas boom of the 1950s contributed to the town's rapid growth. Spearman had a population of 1,105 in 1940 and 4,000 in 1964. Although it had dropped to 3,413 by 1980, the benefits of the oil and agricultural booms were visible in its feedlots, grain storage and marketing outlets, gas processing plant, municipal airport, and hospital and retirement center. A small museum occupied the former home of the Santa Fe railroad agent. In 1990 the population was 3,197. The population dropped to 3,021 in 2000.