EARPVILLE, TEXAS. Earpville was on a site that is now within the city limits of Longview in Gregg County. It was founded by the James Earp family of Alabama in the 1840s and had a post office from 1850 to 1867. In 1848 James Earp and his son-in-law James Starkey purchased 1,031 acres of the Alexander Jordan headright bounded on the east by the Upshur-Harrison county line and on the west by the Hamilton McNutt survey. Earp purchased several adjoining tracts of land the following year and built his homestead near the Marshall-Tyler road at the base of the largest rock hill in the area, where Longview's water towers are now located. During the 1850s other members of the Earp family joined James in Upshur County, and the settlement became known as Earpville. The community was on the stagecoach line from Louisiana to San Antonio. Dr. Job Taylor, a physician and lay preacher, operated the stagecoach stop. In 1860 the population was 276, and the community had a saddler, three merchants, a carpenter, three blacksmiths, a wagonmaker, and a minister. A Methodist congregation met in a small log structure beginning in the mid-1800s. It moved to a new building in 1860 and in 1875 became the First Methodist Church of Longview, which still exists. Although there are no records of a school in Earpville, some evidence suggests that the children of the community received private instruction from the postmaster, who was also a teacher, in 1861. With the coming of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1870 Longview was built, and Earpville ceased to exist as a separate settlement.
Norman W. Black and Ellie Caston, comps., Guide to Gregg County's Historical Markers (Longview, Texas: Gregg County Historical Museum and Gregg County Historical Commission, 1988). John Dickson, History of Gregg County, Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1957). Longview Junior Chamber of Commerce, The History of Gregg County (Fort Worth, 1957). Frank Waters, The Earp Brothers of Tombstone: The Story of Mrs. Virgil Earp (New York: Potter, 1960; rpt., Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1976).