EARP, JAMES (ca. 1798–1861). James Earp, farmer, merchant, and a founder of Earpville (later part of Longview), was born about 1798 in Georgia, one of at least three children of Patsy (Robertson) and Cullin Earp. Cullin had been captain of a regiment in Washington County, North Carolina, in 1779. James Earp married Mary Sanders on June 20, 1818, in Lawrence County, Alabama. They were the parents of eleven children, the first eight of whom were born in Alabama. James Earp arrived in Texas along with his single brother, Benjamin, sometime before May 2, 1835, and James received a first-class headright certificate entitling him to 4,605 acres of land. After receiving his headright, James returned to Alabama and brought back his elderly father (who had apparently been widowed before moving to Texas), another brother, William, and his family. In 1846 James bought additional acreage. By the mid-1840s he had settled his large family just north of the Sabine River, in what is now Gregg County. At the time of the settlement it was in Upshur County, and the community that developed there was known as Earpville. The community, which had been laid out as a townsite as early as 1841, was a stopover for the stage from Louisiana. Many of the settlers moving west apparently found the rolling hills of East Texas to their liking. James Earp, a gregarious fellow, sold seven pieces of his land between 1849 and 1860; by 1856 he was considered to be the most important citizen of Earpville. In 1861 Earpville included a store, a wagon shop, a blacksmith shop, a Methodist church, and a schoolhouse. In the early census, James Earp was listed as a farmer. But on February 29, 1856, he was appointed postmaster of Earpville, and by 1860 the census listed him as a merchant, indicating he was running a general store in Earpville. (It was common practice for the post office to be housed in a general store.) He was reappointed postmaster under the Confederacy in 1861, a post he held until his death on August 7, 1861. He was buried in the Earpville Cemetery. After he died, his daughter, Louisa (Earp) Glasco, sold 518½ acres of his estate to Ossamus Hitch Methvin, Sr., who in turn in 1870 sold 100 acres to the Southern Pacific line. Earpville was eventually subsumed into the new railroad town of Longview, and the last document showing the old town of Earpville was dated July 3, 1882. A historical marker on Highway 80, at 1107 E. Marshall Avenue, Longview, commemorates this early pioneer.
Longview Junior Chamber of Commerce, The History of Gregg County (Fort Worth, 1957). Longview Morning Journal, May 3, 1970. Jim Wheat, Postmasters and Post Offices of Texas, 1846–1930 (Microfilm, Grover C. Ramsey Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Mary Glasco Hawkins, "EARP, JAMES," accessed August 14, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fearh.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on September 11, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.