ALMA, TEXAS. Alma is on U.S. Highway 75 four miles south of Ennis in southeastern Ellis County. The first settlers in the area arrived in the early 1840s. Among them was Thomas Smith, who bought a thousand acres of land beside a lake named Willow Pond. The Willow Pond site served as a stagecoach station between Waxahachie and Marshall. By 1872 the Houston and Texas Central Railway had come through. Around 1881 the settlement received a post office, named Alma, possibly after the daughter of a local banker. In 1900 Alma had a school, a church, 150 residents, and six businesses. A local school built in 1912 operated until the district was consolidated with the Ennis school district. By 1915 the town had a bank. The number of residents reached a high of 250 by the mid-1920s, dipped briefly to about 100 by the end of World War II, then climbed to 200, where it remained through the early 1960s. By 1964 Alma had lost its post office and had a population of thirty and three or four businesses. In the late 1970s the population had increased to 117, and the town incorporated. In 1990 the population was 205 and by 2000 the population reached 302.
John Clements, Flying the Colors: Texas, a Comprehensive Look at Texas Today, County by County (Dallas: Clements Research, 1984). Edna Davis Hawkins et al., History of Ellis County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1972). Memorial and Biographical History of Ellis County (Chicago: Lewis, 1892; rpt., as Ellis County History, Fort Worth: Historical Publishers, 1972).