In November 1871 a post office was established; however, the name was changed to Long Bottom, a corruption of the original owner's name. In 1874 the settlement was renamed Wortham in honor of Co 1. Rice Wortham, a merchant who had been instrumental in convincing the railroad to build through the area. In 1885 Wortham was a small market center for area cotton farmers with several churches, steam grist and com mills, cotton gins, a general store, and about thirty inhabitants.
The town of Wortham was transformed overnight. The population rose from 1,000 to some 30,000 at the height of the boom in 1925. Housing and infrastructure were
inadequate, and law enforcement officials had great difficulty controlling the rowdy oilfield workers. Intensive drilling brought the boom to an end by late 1927, and by 1929 the population had dropped to around 2,000. The onset of the Great Depression, plummeting cotton prices, and the end of the oil boom combined to bring hard times for Wortham. The number of businesses dropped from seventy-
two in 1931 to fifty in 1936.
After World War 2 the decline continued, and by the early"1980s only sixteen rated
businesses remained. The town also witnessed a slow population decline during the same period, falling to low of about 1,000 in 1975. However, beginning in the mid 80’s, the population has been steadily growing. In 1991 Wortham had 1317 residents and fifteen businesses.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Marker File, Texas Historical Commission, Austin. Christopher Long