Bettie, at the junction of U.S. Highway 271 and Farm Road 2088, six miles north of Gilmer in north central Upshur County, was established in the early 1880s as a stop on the newly constructed Texas and St. Louis Railway. During the antebellum period (see ANTEBELLUM TEXAS) the area had been a lumbering center. The town was named for Mary Elizabeth (Aunt Bettie) Anderson, an early settler. A Bettie post office opened in 1882 with Neri Anderson, owner of the local general store, as postmaster. By 1885 the community had a steam lumber and shingle mill, Baptist and Methodist churches, a district school, and an estimated population of 100. Much of the town's economy was based on lumbering, but after 1890 Bettie also became an important center for shipping sweet potatoes. The first area school was established at nearby Rocky Point but was moved to Bettie in 1894. By 1906 two local schools were operating, with a total enrollment of 128. A bank was organized at Bettie in 1913 but was closed in 1921, when the county's banks were consolidated. The population continued to grow during the 1920s, to a peak of 400 in 1929. During the 1930s, however, it began to decline, partly as a result of the Great Depression and the flight to the larger cities. In the mid-1930s Bettie comprised ten businesses and a number of scattered houses; the population in 1933 was estimated at 284. After World War II the town continued to decline; the population was 150 in 1958 and 100 by the mid-1960s. The post office and most of the businesses closed. In the mid-1960s Bettie consisted of several stores and a large number of houses. In 1990 it was a small rural community with three stores and an estimated population of 110. The population remained the same in 2000.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Bettie by the Numbers

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Pop. Year Source
110 2009 Local Officials