Hemphill Common School District No. 1 was established during the latter part of the last century, but the exact date could not be ascertained. There is, however, a picture of the Hemphill one-teacher school, with John W. Minton shown as the teacher. This school was located near where the First United Methodist Church stands today. This photograph was made in 1899. Later, probably around 1910, a two story brick school building was constructed with its location in the general area where the present Hemphill school stands. Brick used in the construction was provided locally by Henry Huffman who operated a brick kiln.
Based on a petition submitted to the commissioners court on October 10, 1927, and a subsequent election, Hemphill was incorporated for municipality purposes. Later, on June 22, 1928, another special election was held with a view toward abolishing the incorporated status. The vote reflected 69 for abolishment of the incorporated status and 107 for its retention. Apparently another election was held later for the purpose of unincorporation and was successful, but the commissioners court minutes do not reflect the vote. On December 23, 1939, the court received another petition signed by 62 voters asking for reincorporation of the town. A plat and description of the area of incorporation is contained in pages 507-513, Volume N, Minutes of the Commissioners court. The court ordered the election to be held on November 29, 1939, with 79 voting for incorporation and 27 voting against. Thus, Hemphill has regained its incorporated status which it holds today.
The city owns and operates the D. G. Mann Municipal Park which has excellent sports facilities including tennis and volleyball courts and picnic areas. The park is composed of 27 acres of land donated to the city in 1973 by Dr. D. G. Mann and the Pratt families. Dr. Mann was a longtime dentist in Hemphill as well as serving as city mayor for many years.
In addition to being the seat of county government, several state agencies either maintain offices in Hemphill, or have representatives working from a Hemphill base. The Yellowpine Ranger District of Sabine National Forest as well as the Hemphill Independent School District schools are located here. Hemphill also serves as the northern and western gateway to the lake communities and recreational areas lying along the western perimeter of Toledo Bend Lake. The population today is about 1,400.
The city no longer possesses the original townsite plat probably made in 1859. The oldest survey on file in the city is a Survey Map, Hemphill, The County Seat of Sabine County, Texas. This map is signed by W. E. Payne, state licensed surveyor, under the date of January 16, 1920.
Organized banking services under federal and state regulations began in Hemphill on January 29, 1907, with the chartering of the First National Bank. State Guaranty Bank (name changed to Hemphill State Bank later) was chartered on January 9, 1917, and Farmers & Merchants State Bank (later merged into the State Guaranty Bank), opened on October 20, 1920. These banks closed at the onset of the Depression in the early 1930s. The present First State Bank was opened on September 9, 1944.
East Mayfield (part of Hemphill) History