Approximately 70 miles northwest of Lubbock, 90 miles southwest of Amarillo, 45 miles west of Plainview, and 40 miles east of the Texas/New Mexico line is the location of probably the only place on planet Earth that is named Earth.
Earth was established in 1924 by rancher William E. Halsell who also founded Amherst. He was born in Jacksboro, Texas, back in 1877 to Mary Alice (Crutchfield) and William Electious Halsell.
In 1916, Halsell formed the Halsell Cattle Company together with three of his four sisters. In 1923, they formed the Halsell Farms Company to facilitate land sales from the Spring Lake Ranch to settlers, and they began selling lots in the summer of 1924, naming the place Fairlawn or Fairleen. Soon after, a hotel, a cotton gin, and the first house were built, and the town was renamed Earth.
There are numerous stories of how this town, located on the high plains of the Llano Estacado, became known as Earth.
It is said that the first settlers decided to call this town Tulsa, but the postal authorities rejected this name since there a town in Oklahoma that was already named Tulsa.
Another tale has it that Ora Hume (O.H.) Reeves who owned the new town’s hotel reportedly said, “We’ve got more earth here than anything else, let’s call it Earth.” His son-in-law, Frank Wesley Hyatt, was the first postmaster in Earth.
There are many towns throughout the United States named after planets:
- Mercury in Alabama, Nevada, and Texas
- Venus in Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, and Pennsylvania
- Mars in California, Pennsylvania, and Texas
- Jupiter in California, Florida, and North Carolina
- Saturn in Indiana and Texas
- Neptune in Iowa, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
- Pluto in Mississippi, Texas, and West Virginia
However, Earth, Texas, is the only place in the United States called Earth. There is Black Earth (Wisconsin), Blue Earth (Minnesota), White Earth (Minnesota and Maryland), Earth City (Missouri), Middle Earth (Maryland), but there is no other place named Earth. There are also no records that there is another town anywhere in the world that is called Earth.
As of the census of 2010, only 1,065 people on the planet Earth can say that they are citizens of a town named earth. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.2 square miles (3.1 km²).
In 1930, Earth had 350 inhabitants, and in 1940 that had risen to 600. The town was incorporated in 1947 and is still an area rich in agricultural diversification. In 1960, the town had 1,104 citizens, and in 1970, its population was reported as 1,152, and at 1,512 in 1980.
Today there are several restaurants, a few other businesses and a state recognized school in the town. Earth has five churches: First Baptist Church, United Methodist Church, Earth Church of Christ, St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, Temple de Adoracion, and Bright Morning Star Baptist Church.
There are many interesting attractions in the town, including the city swimming pool, the baseball park, the Earth Amateur Rodeo, and the Veterans Wall, located on the Springlake-Earth school grounds.