Town of Hemming, Texas
Map provided to me by a current resident of Hemming, Dianne Mason.  She received this map from Spencer
Beavers who drew it up from memory.  Norman L. Newton

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A letter from former Cooke Countian L. D. Clark, prompted this entry for Hemming. His letter:

"I was looking over what you have about ghost towns in Cooke County. There is another one whose traces may almost have
disappeared by now: Hemming. It lay about 15 miles SSE of Gainesville, almost in Denton County. There can't be much left of it. I
was last there in 1950 or '51, and found only a few foundations standing. The whole town was blown away by a tornado around
1900 and was never rebuilt. I grew up a few miles north of the site. My father always called that storm " the Hemming cyclone." - L.
D. Clark, Smithville, Texas


                                              History in a Pecan Shell

From facts contained in the Handbook of Texas:

Hemming was named in 1890 to honor Gainesville banker C. C. Hemming who donated land for the fledgling
community's first school.

1894 was a landmark year for Hemming with the establishment of a store / post office and a cotton gin. After 1905 mail
was rerouted from Pilot Point and the post office closed. Two additional stores were opened between 1900 and 1905.

At its zenith, Hemming's population was 125 - a healthy figure for the times. Hemming became the cotton-processing
center for its region and it reportedly shipped between 1,000 to 1,500 bales annually.

In 1907 a tornado hit Hemming, killing seven and demolishing nearly the entire town. An attempt was made to rebuild,
but the damage was too severe. The gin closed in the early 20s and in 1929 the school consolidated with other small
schools. Material from the Hemming school was recycled into a Union Grove School District building.

Hemming was reduced to only a church and a few residences by the mid-1930s. After WWII the population was
reportedly reduced to ten.

It suffered the cruelest blow any small town can receive when it was removed from county maps in the 1980s.

TexasEscapes.com – Ghost Towns
http://www.texasescapes.com/TexasGhostTowns/HemmingTexas.htm

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HEMMING, TEXAS. Hemming, 15½ miles south of Gainesville in extreme southern Cooke County, was established in
1889. It was named for Gainesville banker C. C. Hemming, who in 1890 donated land for a school there. A store and
cotton gin were built at Hemming in 1894, and that year a post office opened in the store, with W. J. Pipkin as first
postmaster. The Hemming post office closed in 1905, and rural free delivery came from Pilot Point. In 1900 B. R.
Newton opened a general store at the community, and in 1905 Emberson and Alexander opened another. At its height
just after 1900, Hemming had two general stores, a school, a cotton gin, a blacksmith shop, three churches, and a
population of 125. In 1912 a Woodmen of the World camp was organized there and a second floor was added to the
school building for a lodge hall. The town served as the region's cotton-processing center, and during the peak years of
the cotton boom after 1900 the Hemming cotton gin handled 1,000 to 1,500 bales annually. The town's prosperity,
however, was short-lived. A tornado hit the community on April 27, 1907, killing seven people and wiping out all but one
of the town's buildings. Though several of its buildings were rebuilt, by the early 1920s Hemming was in decline. Its
cotton gin closed in 1922. In 1929 the Hemming school was consolidated with the Mount Olive, Oak Hill, Bloomfield,
and Walling schools to form the Union Grove school district. The Hemming schoolhouse was dismantled, and the
materials were used in the new Union Grove building. Hemming's Methodist church members became affiliated with the
Valley View congregation in 1934, and by 1936 Hemming comprised a church and a few scattered dwellings. In 1947
the community reported a population of around ten. By the late 1980s the town was no longer shown on county highway
maps.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Gainesville Daily Register, Centennial Edition, August 30, 1948.
Odessa Morrow Isbell
Texas State Historical Association - The Handbook of Texas Online
http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrh27
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                             G. M. Boydstun Recalls a Tornado

   A tragic tornado which swept through the Hemming community, fifteen miles southeast of Gainesville, near the
Denton county line, and near Valley View, on Saturday, April 27, 1907.  It killed seven persons and marked the
beginning of the decline of the flourishing little village which at the height of its growth some 125 persons, had 2 stores,
a gin, a school building and three churches.  Killed in the tornado was the community physician Dr. John C. Riley 59,
father of J. H. Riley of Gainesville, William R. Alexander 16, Grover Beavers 14, Leona Nell Wells 10, Pettis and Painter
Wilkins 8 and 4, and Oma Boydstun 6.  The only house left standing was the home of John Alexander, which was on a
hill about 500 yards south of the store.
   Mr. Boydstun recalls, I can recall my parents telling of our family being moved into our new house just a short time
before the cyclone and Dad told my Mother, “We really put the nails in this building I think it will be here a long time
unless a fire or tornado destroys it.”  He also remembers his parents, G. G. and Jeanie R. Boydstun relate the story of
The Hemming Cyclone which hit their small town on that Saturday afternoon.  His Dad being employed at the mill, and
could not leave his job, sent a brother-in-law, Dayton Sullivan to the house to assist the family to a storm cellar close by.  
As they went to leave the house they discovered the doors could not be forced open due to extreme vacuum just
seconds before the storm hit.  The last thing my mother remembered was the house being picked up in the air.
   G. G. Boydstun and son G. M., operated a blacksmith and machine shop in Valley View from 1925 to 1932.

   Transcription above from the Valley View Centennial Book, page 74, published 1972.  I have made some slight changes in
regard to spelling and clarity.  Gordon Marcell Boydstun was an infant (8 1/2 mo.) at the time of the cyclone being born on August
11, 1906.  
Norman L. Newton
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