Ethel is on Farm Road 902 fourteen miles southwest of Sherman in southwestern Grayson County. The community developed in the late 1850s as ranchers and lumbermen converged. John Dishman constructed a gin, and a school was built on the ranch of S. A. Schott. In 1885 a post office opened; the name Ethel was submitted by W. H. Burgin, who owned the general store and became the first postmaster. By 1900 the number of residents had increased to eighty-one. The post office closed in 1902. From 1930 until 1990 the population was estimated at twenty-five. In 2000 the population was forty.
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