ABILENE All over the world men, women and children are driven by a fascination of the “Wild West”. Today in Abilene, the intriguing story is told by life-size holograms at Frontier Texas! Gather up the family and spend a few days scouting the sights and sounds of this legendary area – a place where our western heritage is both a birthright and a pastime. Savor Abilene’s inspiring art scene, spirited venues and discover your wild side at the Abilene Zoo. Abilene is home to Dyess Air Force Base, 10 higher education institutions and more than 120,000 characters. The Cultural District is home to 23 Storybook Sculptures, the largest public collection of the storybook characters, bestowing the designation of the official Storybook Capital of Texas. Within the span of a century, Abilene transformed itself from a tent city to a cultural center – a place where characters of every kind come to life. Abilene CVB, 1101 North 1st, 325-676-2556, 800-727-7704 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 17) ALBANY Home of the Hereford, a “Film Friendly Community” and a “Preserve America Community”, Albany has a rich history of art, oil, ranching, community/ military leaders, and hunting. As home of the Fort Griffin Fandangle, the oldest outdoor historical musical in Texas since 1938, several thousand visitors a year come to enjoy this historical production. The Texas Central Railway Co. Passed through Albany carrying cattle, buffalo bones and passengers to various destinations. Tons of limestone were shipped to Houston from Albany to pave their streets in 1882. Visitors to the 1883 Shackelford County courthouse enjoy the Historic District, listed in the National Register. Weddings can be scheduled in the Gazebo on the 1883 courthouse lawn. The Old Jail Art Center contains Asian, pre-Columbian, contemporary, historical, world class exhibitions. The restored Aztec Theater is a perfect venue for plays performed periodically by the Albany Mainstreet Playhouse. Albany Chamber of Commerce, 325-762-2525 chamber@ albanytexas.com (page 26) ANSON County seat of Jones County and founded in 1881, Anson was named for Dr. Anson Jones, architect of Texas statehood and last president of the Republic of Texas. Nearby are ruins of Fort Phantom Hill, a military post established in 1851 and later used as Station 54 for Southerland Overland Mail on the old Butterfield Trail. A most notable celebrity who is native to Anson is Jeanie C. Riley, first female vocalist to hit number 1 on both the rock and country charts at the same time with the same song “Harper Valley P.T.A.” Three Hollywood movies were filmed in or near Anson (Independence Day, Stars Fell on Henrietta and Abilene). Ghost hunters frequent Anson in search of the “Lights of Anson”, a phenomenon that appears at the Mt. Hope Cemetery and is featured in the book Ghosts in the Graveyard by Olyve Hallmark Abbot and in Texas Monthly. With the close proximity to Abilene, Anson offers small town living with big town amenities right next door. Chamber of Commerce, 325-823-3259 email@example.com (page 27) BAIRD The county seat of Callahan County, Baird was established in 1880 as cattle drives moved across Texas. Small camp settlements sprang up along the trail and often turned into construction camps for building the west bound T&P Railroad. By that time, the railroad had arrived in northern markets from South Texas beginning in the 1870’s. The town flourished through the turn of the century and the population diversified into agriculture and oil industries. The historic 1911 T&P Railway Passenger Depot, anchoring the south end of Market St. houses a Transportation Museum. On the north end is the 1929 Callahan County Courthouse. Also, behind the courthouse, the 1898 County Jail is one of the oldest operating jails in the country. With today’s challenges of keeping a vibrant business district in rural communities, the school is what brings the towns’ people together; keeping the community connected and active. Chamber of Commerce, 100 Market St., 325-854-2003 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 28) BALLINGER Ballinger was established in 1886 when the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway built westward out of Brownwood. Extensive advertising in the Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Galveston newspapers brought 6,000 people to the sale of town lots. The town was originally called Gresham and then Hutchings (in honor of Santa Fe stockholders); it was officially named in honor of William Pitt Ballinger, a Galveston attorney and stockholder of the railways. With rail and farming driving the local economy the community had amazing progress in a short amount of time! By 1904 the town had four cotton gins, an ice plant, steam laundry, steam bakery, city waterworks, telephone company, three newspapers, two large furniture stores, three drugstores, a grain and feed store, two hardware stores, four lumber yards, two saddle stores, several dry goods stores, coal yards, blacksmith shops, wagon yard, cotton yards, public school building, churches, hotels, and a restaurant. Today the community offers unique shopping and dining experiences as well as historical sites to visit like the authentically restored Andrew Carnegie Library. Chamber of Commerce, 325-365- 2333 email@example.com (page 29) BRADY Home is where the heart is, and the TRUE heart of Texas is McCulloch County - the geographic center of the state. When the area was settled in the 1870s, the community was named Brady City after Brady Creek, which runs through town. The name was shortened to Brady when the town was incorporated in 1906. Henry and Nancy Fulcher, the first settlers on Brady Creek, donated land for the town site in the mid-1870s. A post office opened in 1876. After residents of McCulloch County chose Brady as county seat on May 15, 1876, the town grew quickly. Brady had about fifty residents in 1877, and a stone courthouse was completed in 1878. Thomas Maples began weekly publication of the Brady Sentinel in 1880. By 1884, Brady had two churches, a district school, three stores, two hotels, and 300 residents. Today the community is a thriving business hub for the smaller surrounding communities. Whatever your pleasure, you’re always welcome to hang your hat in the TRUE Heart of Texas! Chamber of Commerce, 101 E First, 888-577-5657 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 32) BRECKENRIDGE The town originated about 1854 and was called Picketville. When the county was organized in 1876, the town was made county seat and renamed Breckenridge after John C. Breckinridge, U.S. Senator from Kentucky and U.S. Vice President, although the spelling of the name was altered. Breckenridge served as the court and local trading center for several quiet decades until 1916–17, when oil discoveries at Ranger occurred. Drilling started at the Breckenridge field in 1918, but the boom did not really get underway until 1920 when the town saw the arrival of thousands of workers and speculators who threw up acres of tents and shacks in the classic oil boomtown manner. From a population estimated at 1,500 in January 1920 the town grew to 30,000 within a year. Activity was frenzied as some 200 wells were put down inside the city limits; hordes of gamblers, liquor sellers and houses of ill repute could be found to provide recreation. Today the economy is based on oil and gas, ranching, service, retail, as well as a diversity of manufacturing facilities. Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce, P O Box 1466, Breckenridge, 76424, 254-559-2301 chamber@ breckenridgetexas.com (page 34) BRONTE Bronte, on U.S. Highway 277 at its junction with State Highway 158 in east central Coke County, was founded in the late 1880s and named for the English novelist Charlotte Bronte. J.B. McCutchen drove a herd of cattle into the area from Santa Anna in 1889, and other settlers followed, including Dr. W. F. Key, who started the town. Lumber was hauled from Ballinger for the community’s early buildings. Oso and Bronco were the town’s original names, but the post office rejected Bronco to avoid confusion with another town. Bronte had a post office by 1890; also two churches and a school. The Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway was completed through the area in 1907; subsequently Bronte was moved a mile to be near the track to become a shipping point on the railroad. The first train ran in 1909. By 1910, the town had numerous businesses, two cotton gins, a bank, and a newspaper. City Hall, 325-473-3501 brontetx@wcc.Net (page 36) BROWNWOOD Brown County was formed on the western frontier in 1856 and was organized in 1858, with Brownwood designated as the county seat. Once the frontier was secure from hostile Indians, the area began to grow, economically spurred by the railroad, agriculture, and oil. During WWII, Brownwood was home to Camp Bowie, the largest training facility in the nation and a German POW camp. Today, Brownwood’s economy remains strong. Camp Bowie is now the National Guard training facility, as well as the Industrial Park, Sports Complex, Aquatic Center, and Medical Complex. Rich in history and steeped in tradition, Brown County residents enjoy a relaxed way of life that revolves around family and friends. Brownwood is a sportsman’s paradise, with excellent hunting, beautiful Lake Brownwood and an abundance of outdoor activities. With over 50 annual events, entertainment and culture abound with festivals, performances, and art exhibits. For more information contact the Brownwood Chamber of Commerce 600 E. Depot, 325-646-9535 tourism@ brownwoodchamber.org (page 39) BUFFALO GAP Cradled in a hollow between two buttes that form the “Gap” in the Tonkawa Mountains, sits the village of Buffalo Gap. Over the millennia these landmarks served as beacons to the millions of bison that often used this breach in the landscape to migrate to and from their southernmost grazing grounds. Buffalo Gap was the first township in Taylor County and served as the county seat until 1883 when it was relocated to the fledgling town of Abilene. Today the Buffalo Gap Historic Village offers a glimpse back to those bygone days as visitors can visit the courthouse and other restored 19th century buildings. Buffalo Gap is home to many working artists and restaurants. Gift shops and antique stores offer tourists a variety of shopping and dining venues. Three area campgrounds allow for activities such as camping, hiking and fishing. A number of benefits and community activities are held at the Taylor County Old Settlers Reunion Grounds each year. City Hall, 325-572-3347 email@example.com (page 40) CISCO In 1919, Conrad Hilton came to Cisco with plans to buy a bank in the midst of the oil boom. At that time hotel rooms were being rented in 8 hour shifts for fantastic prices. Seeing the opportunity for profit he purchased the Mobley Hotel in the center of downtown Cisco establishing the first in the Hilton chain of hotels. December 23, 1927 is a day that will long be remembered in Cisco when Marshall Ratliff dressed as Santa Claus robbed the First National Bank, one of Texas’ most infamous crimes. Visit Cisco and take a short drive out to the Lake Cisco Dam to see what was once the largest concrete swimming pool in the world. While there, you will see remnants of the old zoo where the cages were actually built into the hillsides. When in Cisco visit the antique and specialty shops on Conrad Hilton Blvd. To learn more about events, dates, and times of annual events contact the Chamber of Commerce located in the Mobley Hotel, 309 Conrad Hilton Ave, 254-442-2537 ChamberBrittney@gmail.com (page 41) CLYDE Clyde traces its roots to the expansion of the Texas & Pacific Railway, in 1880, through the Callahan Divide – between the Brazos and Colorado Rivers. Legend has it that the railroad construction crew gathered regularly at Robert Clyde’s construction camp and supply tent, hence the area began to be commonly referred to as “Clyde’s.” The town was formally chartered on July 9, 1907. Situated above an aquifer, Clyde quickly earned the nickname “Little California” for its bountiful fruit and vegetable crops, which were shipped across Texas by rail. Fastforward to 2011 and Clyde CISD is a TEA “Recognized” district with new schools, a new performing arts center and a new football stadium. Clyde is a city that is both proud of its history and purposefully forging ahead. Under progressive leadership, Clyde is welcoming new businesses, restoring downtown, and expanding its borders. Festivals, parades, art galleries, and events at the Public Library, City Park, and Clyde Lake all add to the quality of life for Clyde residents. Chamber of Commerce, 325-893-4221 chamber@clydeamerica.Com (page 42) COLEMAN The community had its origin in 1876 when R.J. Clow donated a 160- acre site on Hords Creek for a county seat. Located on the Western Trail, Coleman boomed as a supply and recreation center for trail drivers bound for Dodge City, Kansas. The town was named after the county, named for Sam Houston’s aide Robert M. Coleman. Soon after the county was organized it had a courthouse in Coleman, built of lumber taken from elms found along Jim Ned Creek. The courthouse also housed bachelor quarters and a general store and was used for religious services and community gatherings. Raising cattle was the only real industry in the area late in the 19th century. The occasional visitor would experience sights of thousands of longhorns tended to by hardened cowboys as the herds roamed the open, rolling terrain. The needs of the ranchers and ranch hands spurred the development of businesses. Today, Coleman still takes pride in its ranching heritage. Additionally, the entire county credibly claims the best hunting and fishing in the entire area, if not the state. Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture, 325-625-2163 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 44) COLORADO CITY In the early 1800’s Comanche, Kiowa, Apache and Lipan Indians inhabited the area. Mitchell County was organized January 10, 1881 and the town of Colorado was designated as the county seat. The T&P Railroad built their line to Colorado making it West Texas’ first boom town. The first train arrived in 1881. The first building was erected in 1880 by A. W. Dunn. The Rev. O.F. Rogers preached the town’s first sermon in January 1881, in a saloon, with the bar and its accessories covered with wagon sheets. In the 1890’s Col. Isaac Ellwood and J.F. Glidden, inventors of barbed wire, arrived. Ellwood later purchased the Renderbrook Ranch near Colorado and established the “Spade” brand. Statistics cannot begin to tell the story of Colorado, known as the “Mother City of West Texas” and now called Colorado City. Chamber of Commerce, 157 West 2nd Street, 325-728-3403 chamber@ cityofcoloradocity.org (page 46) COMANCHE You will find one-of-akind treasures in Comanche, one of Texas’ most historic communities! Named for the Comanche Indians, Comanche was established in 1858, when John Duncan offered the county 240 acres on Indian Creek as a site for a county seat. Historic preservation is evident with several historical markers downtown featuring the Dean of Texas Geology Robert Thomas Hill and the notorious outlaw killer John Wesley Hardin. Comanche was also home to American Quarter Horse Association’s Hall of Famer Royal King. Comanche boasts of specialty and antique shops, the best dining in Central Texas, exceptional trophy hunting, hiking trails and recreational water sports. One of the finest bass fisheries is located at Lake Proctor. Agribusiness is notably prominent as Comanche produces an abundance of dairy and beef cattle, peanuts and pecans, milk and wine (served separately of course). Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture, 325- 356-3233 email@example.com (page 48) CROSS PLAINS Cross Plains was named for the crossing of stage coaches and military roads. Initially called Schleicher, Cross Plains was renamed and granted a post office in 1878. Early German settlers claimed this area to be as near paradise as one could imagine with open plains, native grass and abundant wildlife. Cross Plains has always been a farming and ranching center; however, in the 1920s it became an oil and gas production center and, today has a large trade territory offering numerous merchants, churches and restaurants. There is excellent dove, quail and white tail deer hunting. Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Barbarian and Kull the Conqueror, did most of his writing here. The Cross Plains Economic Development Corp, Chamber of Commerce, Project Pride and other local organizations are working to improve the economic well-being and provide a thriving future for the community. City of Cross Plains, 254-725-6114 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 52) DE LEON De Leon is the town that spawned Pulitzer Prize winner William Smith White who wrote The Taft Story. Other nationally published authors from De Leon include Bruce McGinnis, who wrote The Fence, Jada Davis, Charles Chupp, Joylene Hafford, and Carla Landreth. De Leon is the boyhood home of Ben Barnes who was the youngest Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and youngest Lt. Governor outside the Reconstruction period. The peanut shelling plant in De Leon (not currently in use) was the largest of its kind in the world and De Leon was the geographical center of the largest peanut acreage allotment program in the U.S. at one time. Its agricultural industry is mainly cattle and hay, along with peanuts, pecans and melons. “Busiest town, friendliest people” has long been De Leon’s appropriate motto. The living here is easy and secure with good schools, a modern hospital, low taxes and excellent fire and law enforcement services. Chamber of Commerce, 133 S. Texas, 254-893-2083 email@example.com (page 54) DUBLIN Dublin is known for creating legends: rodeo cowboys, the world’s best sodas, country singer Johnny Duncan, and famed golfer Ben Hogan, among others. Legend has it that the town got its name from the ancient Irish city, or perhaps from early settlers “doubling in” their wagons for protection against marauding Indians. In the 40s and 50s, Dublin was headquarters of the World Championship Rodeo, owned by Everett Colborn and cowboy singing star Gene Autry. Visit the birthplace of bottled Dr Pepper and enjoy soft drink memorabilia. Learn more at Dublin’s FIVE museums: Dublin Bottling Works Museum, W.P. Kloster Museum Annex, Dublin Historical Museum, Dublin Rodeo Heritage Museum, and The Ben Hogan Museum. Visit the Veterans Memorial, the beautifully restored Little Church on Grafton St., do the driving tour of see the historic homes and stroll through Wright Historical Park with its 1882 grist mill and 1855 log cabin. Dublin Chamber of Commerce, 111 S. Patrick, 254 445-3422 dublintxchamber@ embarqmail.com (page 56) EARLY Walter U Early was born August 15, 1868 in Lamasco, KY. When he came to Brown County in January 1893, he taught school and began working at the same time in the Rainey Smith Company store. He entered the law office of Goodwin and Grinnan where he studied law books and received a law degree. He was elected Brownwood City Attorney, Brown County Attorney and then elected 35th District Attorney, which was the largest judicial district at the time. In 1930 he retired as District Attorney and joined J. Edward Johnson in a private law office. In 1936 Mr. Early retired from active practice. On December 18, 1939 he passed away at the age of 71. Walter Early donated land for a school as they were being consolidated, so this school was named in his honor. When the town incorporated in 1951, it also took his name to honor him and the importance of education. Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, 104 E. Industrial, 325- 649-9317 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 60) EASTLAND Discover Eastland! The city was founded in 1891 by Jacamiah Daugherty, Charles Connellee and J.B. Ammerman. In the late 1880s the Texas & Pacific Railroad cut an East/West path across the state bringing development and conveniences to newcomers who were drawn to affordable land. Home of Old Rip – the horned toad placed in the cornerstone of the third courthouse in 1897 and removed in 1928, flat, dusty, but alive. Old Rip can be observed today in a tiny glass casket in the Eastland County Courthouse. The Nation’s first trans-continental highway, the famed Bankhead Highway, built in the 1920’s, passes through Eastland, and is paved with bricks from Thurber, Texas. Ringling Lake, named after famed circus ringmaster John Ringling, who purchased the land around the lake to build an amusement park, is located just north of the City. Eastland Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau is inside the Connellee Hotel, 209 W. Main, 254-629- 2332 email@example.com (page 62) EDEN Although many would think of a biblical reference, Eden was named for its founder Frederick Ede who moved to Concho County with his family around 1881. In February 1882, Ede designated forty acres of his land as a town site and donated land for the town square. When the post office was established in 1883, the community officially became known as Eden. The first school in the community opened in 1884– 85 and by 1890 Eden had a church, general store, saloon, jeweler and a population of 107. The bank, which still stands today, opened in 1906 followed by the telephone service in 1907. Eden formally incorporated on February 4, 1911. As sheep ranching in the area increased after 1925, Eden became a trade center for wool and mohair. By 1940 the local ram sale was advertised nationwide. City of Eden, 325-869-2211 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 66) GOLDTHWAITE The county seat of Mills County, Goldthwaite is located in the heart of the county. The town, once a part of what was then southern Brown County in 1885, was named for Joe G. Goldthwaite and became the County Seat of Mills County in 1889. Goldthwaite watched its courthouse burn in 1912 and was replaced with a brick structure the following year. The county’s first school library was established in 1915, the same year construction began on Lake Merritt, seven miles from town. Mullin, ten miles north of Goldthwaite in west central Mills County, became a town site with the construction of the Santa Fe track through the area in the late 1880s and was named for a pioneer family. Priddy, in northeast Mills County, was named for Thomas Jefferson Priddy, a pioneer Baptist preacher and Texas Ranger. The first homes in the community were built in the early 1880s, primarily by German settlers. Chamber of Commerce, 1001 Fisher St., 325-648-3619 email@example.com (page 70) GORMAN Gorman grew out of the earlier community of Shinoak and was renamed for Patrick Gorman, road master of the Texas Central Railroad in 1889. By 1904 Gorman had various stores, a hotel, a gin, a lumberyard, a canning factory, electric street lights, and a newspaper named the Gorman Ledger. Hankins College was located in Gorman from 1905 to 1912. During the Eastland County oil boom of 1917–22 Gorman became an important supply center, and its population grew considerably, shooting past 20,000. Gorman had the first bank in Eastland County, its own power plant and the infamous Blackwell Sanatorium (aka Blackwell Hospital). The first peanutshelling machine in Texas was used in Gorman in 1940 and in 1986 Gorman had one of the most efficient shelling plants in the United States. Both the Texas Peanut Producers Board and the Southwest Peanut Growers’ Assn. Were headquartered in Gorman at one time. Today, Gorman is a quiet little town, home to the Peanut Festival and Shin Oak BBQ cook-off every year on the second Saturday in September. Chamber of Commerce, 254-734-2317, firstname.lastname@example.org (page 75) HAMILTON Nestled in the Pecan Creek Valley of Central Texas, Hamilton is what a hometown should be - safe, friendly and vibrant. The 150-year-old Hamilton County Courthouse is the stately centerpiece of the community. The first settlers came to the area in 1855, and the first store was opened the same year by James M. Rice and Henry Standefer. Hamilton became the county seat when the county was founded in 1858 and was named, like the county, for South Carolina governor James Hamilton. The post office was established in 1861 and by 1873 the population was 200. The Civil War and Indian attacks, which continued until 1876, slowed the growth of Hamilton. During the 1890s two attempts were made to establish a new county seat, on Cowhouse Creek and on the banks of the Leon River, but both failed. By 1896 Hamilton had a population of 1,100, a grocery, two saloons, and three general stores. Today visitors enjoy numerous stores featuring boutique gifts, chic western wear, decorating essentials and art galleries. Chamber of Commerce, 254-386-3216 chamber@ centurylink.net HAMLIN Perched on a wide prairie between two forks of the Brazos River, the town of Hamlin, incorporated in 1907, was born at the crossroads of three major and one short-gauge railway system. Col. Morgan Jones completed his 800-plus-mile railroad career with the arrival of the Abilene and Southern line to Hamlin in 1910. J.B.F. Wright composed the old hymn mainstay, “Precious Memories,” in October 1923 while living on the J.L. Keen farm just east of Hamlin’s city limits. In 1921 the school system adopted the mascot of the “Pied Piper” to give direction to the newly established football team; this unique mascot is the only one known of its kind in the U.S. for a public school’s identity. Just as Robert Browning’s Pied Piper enticed the children into the cave, many visitors find themselves unable to resist the lure and tranquility offered by this spirited city. Chamber of Commerce, 245 S. Central Avenue, 325- 576-3501 email@example.com (page 77) HASKELL Crossroads of the Texas Midwest on U.S. 277 & 380, this picturesque community is the hub of the Rolling Plains. Named for Charles Ready Haskell, a Revolutionary soldier who fell with Fannin at Goliad, the town was incorporated in 1858 and known as Willow Pond Springs and later as Rice Springs. Buffalo, Indians, and cowboys all used the springs as a watering hole. Wild mustangs roamed freely west of Haskell on the Wild Horse Knob prairie. As the county seat, Haskell dominated regional trade and culture. Barbeques and dances were annual events. In those early days a local saloon known as the Road to Ruin was also used for church services. Through the century, the town experienced both boom and bust cycles, but the indomitable spirit of the citizens always prevailed, and today Haskell is a thriving center of commerce and retail trade in the area. Haskell is a great place to live and raise a family. Nature tourism is also become a source of revenue for businesses and landowners. Chamber of Commerce, 510 S. 2nd, 940-864-2477 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 78) HICO Hico is located at the top of the gorgeous Texas Hill Country at the crossroads of Hwy 6, Hwy 220 and Hwy 281. The original town of Hico was founded in 1856 on Honey Creek and after the Texas Central Railroad was built in 1880, town officials proposed the town be moved 2. 5 miles in order to be on the railroad. In the fall of 1890 there were two disastrous fires. The first destroyed the entire east side of Pecan Street. A few weeks later the west side was also destroyed. The citizens, not daunted saw a vision of a bigger and better Hico, and they immediately began the erection of handsome, hand cut limestone structures to replace the older and smaller ones. As with most small towns, as rural America declined and the railroads started disappearing, Hico also went from a thriving town to a small community of farmers and ranchers. Now Hico is once again growing with new business and interest. Hico is the perfect getaway for an afternoon or a weekend. City of Hico, 325-434-1249 email@example.com (page 81) JACKSBORO Settlers first arrived in the Jacksboro area in the mid-1850s, attracted by the offerings of the Texas Emigration and Land Office. Along the banks of Lost Creek, a small community of farmers took root and spread out over the pastureland between the river and the waters of the West Fork of Keechi Creek, south of the original settlement. As the distance from the original site increased and the number of buildings grew, the settlers began referring to the town taking shape as Mesquiteville. The town was chosen county seat in 1858 and renamed Jacksborough, or Jacksboro, in honor of William H. Jack and his brother Patrick, both veterans of the Texas Revolution. That year the first stagecoach arrived from the Butterfield Overland Mail; this service ran until early 1861. Today Jacksboro is a progressively growing community with native limestone downtown buildings built in the 1800’s, eclectic shopping, great restaurants, beautiful scenery, quiet lake and nature trails. You’ll enjoy your time spent in this friendly town. Tourism Dept, 112 W. Belknap St, 940-567-6321; Chamber of Commerce, 302 S. Main St, 940-567-2602 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 86) MENARD A new county named for Michel Branamour Menard (the founder of Galveston), was formed from part of Bexar County in 1858, and the county seat was a new town called Menardville, near the site of the old presidio. Threats of civil war interrupted in the new county’s growth, and Indian attacks increased dramatically after Federal soldiers were withdrawn from Fort McKavett in 1859. Menardville became the major commercial center for the area ranches and an overnight stop of several of the north and west cattle drive trails include the Great Western Trail to Dodge City, Kansas. The arrival of the railroad in 1911 turned Menard into a boomtown (the name was shortened around that time). Through many historical events and challenges of Nature, citizens of Menard have embraced the times and celebrate them today. The remarkable history of Menard is worth exploring. Come visit and see for yourself. Chamber of Commerce, 325-396-2365, email@example.com (page 90) MERKEL Merkel was founded in the early 1880s when the T&P Railway arrived. Known as the “Windmill Town” the community was a shipping point like many other towns in the area. It was renamed in 1881 for its first settler, S. M. Merkel. The population was twenty-five in 1885 and 400 in 1890, when the town had four churches and a school. The first school, conducted in the train depot, was taught by Mrs. A. M. Thornton; seven children enrolled. In June of 1906 Merkel incorporated. The town had only seventeen mayors in the seventy-five years following incorporation; Henry West held the office for eleven terms at four different times. In November 1904 the Farmers and Merchants National Bank was organized. Farming and ranching were the primary economic factors in Merkel’s early development. Though agriculture continues to play a significant role in the town’s economic health, residents also rely on oil-production jobs and militarysupport jobs at Dyess Air Force Base. The most recent developments for Merkel are new retail stores and a medical clinic. City Hall, 325-928-4911 (page 91) MILES founded in 1888 as a station for the Santa Fe Railroad, was named after Jonathan Miles, who donated $5,000 for the extension of the railroad between Ballinger and San Angelo. The town has also been known as Miles City. Good soil and attractive prices brought immigrants to the area, many being of German descent. Several of the rock buildings still standing were built in the early 1900’s and the town had a population of 814 in 1940. At one time there were two banks, three drugstores, two barber shops, a funeral parlor, two hardware stores, several grocery and clothing stores, two meat markets, a wagon yard and livery stable, as well as a depot, jail and several saloons. The historic landmark, twostory Opera House was built in 1904 and served as a venue for plays, musicals and vaudeville acts. It later became a hotel and now serves as the Miles Senior Citizens Center and a gathering spot for the community. The landmark was placed on the National Register in 1976. A beautiful red brick street runs through downtown and was laid “one brick at a time” in 1926. City Hall, PO Box 398, Miles 76861 325-468-3151, firstname.lastname@example.org (page 94) MUNDAY The community dates from 1893, when a store was built at the site. Originally known as Maud, it was renamed for postmaster R.P. Munday when the first post office was established in 1894. In 1903, West Munday merchants – separated by a thousand yards from East Munday – moved their buildings to the east. The Wichita Valley Railroad arrived in 1906, the same year that the community incorporated. With 968 residents in 1910, Munday was easily the largest town in Knox County. By 1950, the population reached 2,270. The population slowly decreased throughout the latter half of the twentieth century. Today it is a community with excellent public schools and a number of local amenities for residents and visitors to the community. Farming and ranching are the main industries. The Munday Industrial Development Corporation is eager to help in relocation, expansion and new business start-ups. Be sure to visit our little town on the prairie. City Hall, 940-422-4331 email@example.com (page 92) RANGER Ranger’s colorful history began in a luxurious valley in an area approximately two miles north east of the present town site. This place was Ranger Camp Valley, so named because the Texas Rangers set up camp before 1870 and prior to the coming of the Texas and Pacific Railroad through Eastland County in 1880. Then came the famous day in October 1917 when the oil gushed from the McCleskey No. 1 well which produced in excess of 2,000 barrels per day. Word spread like wildfire and the oil boom began. Ranger was changed overnight from a sleepy town of several hundred to a thriving city of over 30,000. The oil boom, known as “the boom that won the war” (WWI), earned Ranger the reputation of “the city of flowing gold”. For a relaxing visit to discover insights to a remarkable history or to pursue a permanent lifestyle Ranger has lots to offer. Community Information, 254-647-1880 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 95) RISING STAR In 1874 seven families moving westward in search of their dreams found this area ideal for raising their children and crops. The unique name of the town came much later as the population grew and a mail route was being established. The settlers convened to find a suitable name. After deliberation throughout the night without success, they became aware of the morning star twinkling in the sky. The revelation led to the decision to adopt the name “RISING STAR”. Today Rising Star offers small town living in a beautiful valley. Hugh oak, pecan, cottonwood and mesquite trees hint of the diversification of the soil and climate. The farming community produces wheat, oats, watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, pecans and beautiful hay fields. Four lakes within a few minutes’ drive offer fishing, swimming, boating and camping. The town is well known for its greenhouse, vineyard, livestock equipment, golf course and Trade Days. City Hall, 254-643-4261, email@example.com (page 96) ROBERT LEE Located at the north edge of the Edwards Plateau in the Colorado River Valley, natural resources and wildlife provided a refuge for Comanche, Lipan-Apache, and Jumanos. When the Spaniards introduced the mustang to the territory, the Indian tribes became fiercer and nomadic. Documentation shows that Coronado probably came through the area following the Colorado River north. Ranchers and homesteaders were drawn to the area and Coke County became part of the range war history. After the range war, fence cutting was made a felony during a special session of the legislature. A chunk of burned barbed wire remains in the Old Jail in Robert Lee as testimony to those times. Two early settlers who were Confederate veterans and had fought with Robert E. Lee named the town. Following a massive struggle over the location, Robert Lee wbsite to see businesses, government, school, EMS and VFD, recreational and social organizations. City Hall, 6 East 7th, 325- 453-2831 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 97) ROSCOE Roscoe, settled in 1889 and incorporated in 1907, serves area ranchers and cotton farmers and for over 75 years was the home base of the highly successful Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway. Originally an 1881 water stop for the Texas & Pacific Railway called Katula, it was later re-named Vista in 1889 by its first settlers. Then in 1891 when it got a post office, it was re-named Roscoe because there was already another Vista. A prosperous little town until it was bypassed by I-20 in 1959 and US 84 twenty years later; it suffered the loss of most of its local businesses in the 1980s and 1990s. However, in 2003 it became the center of a major wind turbine boom and over the past decade has rebounded to once again become a vital, thriving community. Since 2008, the national media has designated Roscoe the “Wind Capital of the World” because of its huge wind farms, a focus of attention in the international press, NPR, PBS, film documentaries and others. City Hall, 325- 766-3871 email@example.com (page 99) SAN SABA San Saba took its name from the river that flows easterly through the county, joining the Colorado River forming a fan shaped county in the heart of Texas. In 1854 two treaties were signed with the Indians: March 2, 1847 John O Meuseback and 20 Comanche chiefs signed on behalf of the German Settlers of Fredericksburg (still in effect; never broken); then on December 10, 1850, John H Rollins, special US agent for the Indians of Texas signed a treaty with representatives of five Indian tribes near Wallace Creek. The town of San Saba was established in 1854. In 1856, the county was carved out of the then huge Bexar County and San Saba was named the county seat. By 1857 the first courthouse was completed serving as schoolhouse and meeting hall. In 1874 E E Risien, a young cabinet maker from England, arrived while on his way to California. He returned to settle and began improving the native pecans, and developing the paper shell pecan. Thus, San Saba came to be known as the Pecan Capital of the World. City Hall, 325-372-5144 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 100) SANTA ANNA The twin mesas in Coleman County were a landmark to early surveyors and settlers. One of the earliest maps of Texas shows mesas near the center of the state with the notation “Santa Anna’s Peaks”. The mountain and later the town were named for the Comanche Chief Santa Anna. Using the peaks as an observation post, Texas Rangers camped in the area long before it was settled. With the construction of the Santa Fe Railroad through the town in 1886 and the sale of a 200-acre tract of railroad land for town lots, Santa Anna began to grow rapidly. Among prominent early residents was John Riley, a Texas Ranger and county sheriff, and his wife, Emma Banister, who became the first woman sheriff in Texas after her husband’s death. Visitors now frequent the town for its unique shopping; art, photo gallery, antiques, custom-made furniture from native wood, custom ironwork, metal art and boutiques. Traditional platforms of agriculture and oil are giving way to outdoor recreational and heritage tourism. Santa Anna EDC, 325-348-3403, saedc@webaccess.Net (page 101) SEYMOUR Seymour’s town site was settled in 1874 and incorporated in 1879. The community was settled by pioneers from Oregon who called the place Oregon City. When its post office was established in 1879, the name was changed to Seymour, reportedly for Seymour Munday, a local cowboy. The early days were lively because of conflicts between cowboys and settlers, which culminated in the killing of county judge in 1880. Seymour boomed after citizens raised $50,000 to encourage construction of the Wichita Valley line through the area in 1890; when the railroad built through, most residents of nearby Round Timbers moved to Seymour. The town grew again after the discovery of oil in the county in 1906. The 1890 railroad boom had been short-lived and the town corporation, organized in 1890, was dissolved in 1892 due to inability to meet obligations. With its economic revival in 1906, Seymour once again incorporated. A Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo has been held annually since 1896; thus making it the oldest continuously held rodeo reunion in Texas. City of Seymour, 940- 889-0030 email@example.com (page 102) SNYDER Snyder is where buffalo hunter J. Wright Mooar, killed one of only 7 white buffalo ever seen in the U.S. The original hide is on display at the ranch home of Mooar’s granddaughter Judy Hays. The town was named after William Henry (Pete) Snyder on November 21, 1885. The first building was erected on the southeast corner of the square which is now known as The Manhattan Coffee House. Sites in Scurry County include fields of snow-white cotton, herds of Texas cattle, miles of bobbing pump jacks bowing to past and present, oilrigs highlighting the terrain like magnificent monuments and wind farms with amazing views of wind turbines that mesmerize travelers along state highways connecting Snyder to nearby communities. You will see the most beautiful sunsets and starry nights your mind can imagine. Visit Snyder - the hospitality, like the warm and friendly sun, shines all year long! Chamber of Commerce, 2302 Ave R, 325-573-3558 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 107) STAMFORD Stamford enjoys a rich heritage, proud traditions, and the promise of a bright future. Established with the land contributions of the Swenson Brothers and the Texas Central Railroad in 1899, Henry McHarg, president of the Texas Central Railroad, named the site in 1900 for his hometown in Connecticut. The first train to travel there arrived February 11, 1900. 10 years later, Stamford was promoting itself as “the paved city of Texas.” The Stamford Inn, a grand three-story structure with a porch running across the entire front, was originally built by the Swensons. On Christmas Eve 1924, the structure burned. Four people tragically died in the fire. The cause was not determined and remains a mystery today. The Texas Cowboy Reunion Rodeo was organized in 1930. It is known as the “World’s Largest Amateur Rodeo” and is still held each year during the first weekend in July. Recent achievements include major new construction at our schools and improvements at our airport with its 3500-foot runway. Development Corporation of Stamford, Chamber of Commerce, 107 E. McHarg Street, 325- 773-2495 or 325-773-2411 eddirector@ stamfordtx.com or chamber@stamfordcoc.Org (page 108) STRAWN Strawn was one of several towns developed in the early 1880’s when the T&P Railway began service in the area. The town was laid out on the land of two early ranchers, S.B. Strawn and J. N. Stuart. Stuart built the first house in 1875 which, along with Strawn’s house, still stands today. The population grew steadily but peaked in the 1920’s with first the Coal Boom and then the Oil Boom. Immigrants from Italy, Poland, Mexico, Austria/ Hungry, Germany and many other countries were brought in to work the mines creating a diverse melting pot of nationalities and religions. The mines produced 1.6 million tons between 1910 and 1920; most of which was sold to railroads. For outdoor enthusiasts, several popular lakes, including beautiful Possum Kingdom, are less than a 30-minute drive away, as is public access to the Brazos River. In 2012, the TPWD purchased 4,300 acres west of Strawn surrounding Lake Tucker for the creation of a new state park. Palo Pinto Mountains State Park is tentatively scheduled to open in 2018. Chamber of Commerce, 254-595- 0197 email@example.com (page 110) SWEETWATER Sweet-Water, established in the 1870’s, was a Trading Post with the name derived from “Mobeetie”, the Kiowa word for “sweet water” to describe the water in a nearby creek. There is no indication that Sweetwater was an unruly community in early days. However, the most celebrated occasion of violence occurred because Sweetwater lacked a bank. It was rumored the saloon often held up to $20,000 in cash deposits left by residents. In February 1883 there was a raid on the saloon that resulted in the murder of the owners and the wounding of a bystander. Eleven of the seventeen murder indictments returned in 1881–83 arose from this saloon robbery attempt. The next month Thomas Trammell and others established a bank. Moving forward in time, the Army Air Force used Sweetwater’s airfield for training during World War II. In 1943 the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) were trained there. Today Sweetwater is home of Avenger Field, where the National WASP WWII Museum is located along with a memorial to these daring ladies. Chamber of Commerce, 810 E. Broadway, 325- 235-5488 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 112) THROCKMORTON The history of Throckmorton County reads like a Wild West novel with all the elements of the frontier: Camp Cooper, a military outpost commanded by Robert E. Lee; a Comanche Indian Reserve; outlaws like John Selman and John Larn; cattle drives down the Great Western Trail; and a major thoroughfare for the Butterfield Overland Stage Route. Throckmorton County was organized in 1879 and the town of Throckmorton became the county seat. Early businesses included a store operated by a Mr. Tadley and a restaurant-stage stand run by C. A. Housley. By 1880 sixty-eight ranches or farms operated in the area. Though some crops were raised, cattle ranching was the mainstay of the economy. Fewer than 900 acres was planted in corn, the county’s most important crop in 1880, while almost 32,000 cattle and more than 7,000 sheep were reported on ranches that year. Ranching continued to dominate the economy during the 1880s and 1890s, and by 1900 almost 47,000 cattle and 4,000 sheep were reported. Today cow herds and pump jacks scatter a countryside rich in wildlife diversity. Chamber of Commerce, 940-849-0222 email@example.com (page 114) TYE Located just 6 miles west of Abilene on I-20, Tye was incorporated in 1954. Shortly after the TEDCO railroad track was laid, a Methodist circuit rider, the Rev. John Tye, served as the first postmaster. In his honor the name was changed from TEBO to TYE. In 1882 Indian Creek near Tye offered a picturesque setting to those who came seeking a home. The area was ranch land with longhorn cattle, deer, and jackrabbits. There were wellpopulated prairie dog towns, roadrunners and rattlesnakes when the stouthearted pioneers came to settle. Indeed, the early settlers found a wild, regal beauty in spite of the wind, dust and drought. Water was almost as scarce as hen’s teeth, as an old timer would say. There has been growth in population, but several new businesses from small to larger corporations have located in Tye because the community works together. Tye Economic Development Corporation and Tye Industrial Development Corporation, 649 Scott St, 325-695-8253 firstname.lastname@example.org (page 115) WINTERS Large ranches and cattle grazing developed in the Winters area in the 1870- 1880’s. In the late 1880’s, farmers began to settle on the fertile land. In 1889, a general store was established and a small school house was built on land donated by rancher and land agent, Mr. J. N. Winters. In 1890, townspeople agreed to name the town for Mr. Winters. The new town was chartered in 1894. The community continued to grow and in 1901 a brass band was organized. The band traveled on a bandwagon drawn by four white horses and became well known as they traveled over West Texas. The Abilene and Southern Railroad arrived in 1909 and a volunteer fire department was organized in 1911, with pick axes, a few buckets, and two ladders. In 2013 Winters became the first city in Texas to receive a historical marker resulting from social media play. The Chick-Inn drive-in diner did much to define the automobile culture of the 1950s and 60s, a time of cheap gasoline and muscle cars. The historical marker commemorates this history. Chamber of Commerce, 325-754-5210 email@example.com (page 116)
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