Amherst, on U.S. Highway 84 and the Santa Fe tracks in west central Lamb County, began in 1913 as a Pecos and Northern Texas Railway station for William E. Halsell's Mashed O Ranch. A townsite was platted a mile from the Santa Fe depot in 1923 and named for Amherst College by a railroad official. The post office opened in 1924. By 1930 thirty-five businesses and 964 people constituted a lively trade center, and amenities included a newspaper, the Amherst Argus. For many years the Amherst Hotel, the town's first permanent building, was the most popular stopping place between Clovis and Lubbock. The population in Amherst was 749 in 1940, when the first co-op hospital in Texas was built there. Incorporation came in 1970, when the population was 825. In 1980 the population was 971, and businesses included five cotton gins and two grain elevators. Sod House Spring Monument, commemorating the first cow camp in the area, is located six miles northwest of Amherst, and Plant X, one of Southwestern Public Service's largest generating plants, is nine miles north. The population of Amherst in 1990 was 742. By 2000 the population grew to 791.
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Amherst by the Numbers
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|678||2020||United States Census Bureau|
|643||2018||Texas Demographic Center|
|721||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|791||2000||United States Census Bureau|
|742||1990||United States Census Bureau|