Upland was located near the geographic center of Upton County northwest of the site of present-day Rankin. The town was platted by Henry M. Halff about 1908 and grew quickly to include numerous businesses, a church, and a school that began in October 1908. A post office opened in 1907 with Edward B. Coatwright as postmaster. To encourage development, Halff sold both businesses and residential lots and built a hotel and a general store. Future prosperity seemed assured when Upland was proclaimed the first county seat on May 7, 1910. Later that year W. D. Riser established the Upland Roundup, the first county newspaper. But droughts, bad soil, and lack of adequate water sources hinted of impending disaster. The final blow came when the Orient Railroad built south of the town about 1911, causing many residents to leave. The hotel was moved to Rankin in 1912, and the newspaper followed three years later. In 1915 Rankin became the county seat. By the time the post office closed in 1918, Upland's population had dwindled to a few families. Nothing remained of the former county seat by the 1980s.
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.
Charles G. Davis | © Texas State Historical Association
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