MERIT, TEXAS. Merit is on Farm Road 36 fifteen miles northwest of Greenville in northwestern Hunt County. Settlement of the site began sometime in the late 1860s or early 1870s through the efforts of Dr. O. Murcheson, who named the town for a judge Merritt. The community received a post office in 1884. Two years later the tracks of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway reached the settlement, and by the early 1890s the railroad had established Merit as a shipping point for area farmers. At that time the town had a steam cotton gin, a gristmill, some twenty other businesses, and 300 residents. By the eve of World War I the community’s population had increased to 500, and the number of businesses to more than twenty-five, including two banks. During World War II the population of Merit declined. In 1945 the town had an estimated 300 residents and six businesses. Three years later the Merit and Floyd school districts were consolidated under the name Bland. The number of Merit residents declined to 185 in the early 1950s. During the 1970s its population began to grow again, and in 1988 through 2000 the town reported a population of 215.