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AMHERST, TEXAS

Lamb County, Texas Panhandle / West Texas

34° 0' 37" N, 102° 24' 56?" W (34.010278, -102.415556)
On FM 37 near US 84
8 Miles NW of Littlefield
Population: 680 Est. (2016)
721 (2010) 791 (2000) 742 (1990)

Amherst, Texas Area Hotels ›
Littlefield Hotels
Amherst Texas - Closed Cotton Gin
Closed Cotton Gin
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009

History in a Pecan Shell

Rancher William Halsell, owner of the Mashed O Ranch, was happy to see a railroad shipping point arrive here in 1913 as part of the Pecos and Northern Texas Railroad.

The townsite was laid out in 1923 and the town-to-be was named for Amherst College in Massachusetts by one of the railroad officers.

A post office opened the following year and by 1930 the number of residents neared 1,000. Amherst’s pride was their hotel. It became a popular stopping point for travelers between Lubbock and Clovis, New Mexico.

The Great Depression reduced the population and the 1940 Census showed 749 residents. The town wasn’t incorporated until 1970 when the population was recorded at just over 800. It increased to 971 for the 1980 census. It was reported at 742 for 1990 and 791 in the year 2000.

"Town of Amherst" Historical Marker

Amherst, Texas Landmarks
Amherst Texas Historical Marker
Amherst Historical Marker on FM 37
next to Amherst city hall

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
Historical Marker:

Town of Amherst

Began in 1913 as a cattle-shipping point on Pecos and Northern Texas Railroad. Served the 300,000-acre Spring Lake Ranch, which was established in 1902 by W.E. "Colonel Bill" Halsell (1850-1934) and his son Ewing Halsell (1877-1965). According to local tradition the shipping point was named for Amherst College, Mass., alma mater of one of the railway officials.

When, in 1923, the economy of the High Plains began to switch from ranching to farming, the Halsells divided much of their land to sell to the influx of new settlers. Farms could be bought for $25 an acre.

They set aside land at the railroad depot for a town and donated lots for a school and churches. First permanent building was the Amherst Hotel, built by Halsell Land Company for prospective buyers and visitors. It also had space for a bank, general store, and office. For years it was the most popular hotel between Clovis, NM and Lubbock, TX.

The first general store was opened in 1923, a post office in 1924, and the First National Bank in 1925. The town's first newspaper was the "Argus". By 1930 Amherst had a population of 964. Today (1972) citizens number 835 and the economy is based on cotton and grain, hog raising and cattle feeding.

(1972)

Amherst Today

Amherst Texas City Limit
Amherst City Limit
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
Amherst Texas - Closed Cotton Gin and Scale House

Closed Cotton Gin and Scale House
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
See Cotton & Cotton Gins

Amherst Texas -  Mural showing Cotton, Gin  and Cattle
Amherst Downtown Mural
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
See Cotton & Cotton Gins | More Texas Murals
Amherst Texas - Husk Burner
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
Amherst Texas Downtown
Downtown Amherst
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
Amherst Texas - Sprite ghost sign

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
More Texas Ghost Signs

Amherst Texas - closed lumber yard
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
Amherst Texas - "City Garage"
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
Amherst Texas - Watertowers
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
More Texas Water Towers

Take a road trip

Amherst, Texas Nearby Towns:
Littlefield | Plainview | Lubbock
See Lamb County | Texas Panhandle | West Texas

Book Hotel Here:
Plainview Hotels | Littlefield Hotels | More Hotels
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