About the Museum:
The Garza County Historical Museum is managed by the Caprock
Cultural Association and is the property of Garza County.
The goal is to interpret and preserve historical objects,
data, and to create a interesting, friendly and educational
place for the public to examine the past in order to prepare
for the future. The last few years, the museum has been
renovated with central heat/air, new carpeting, new roof,
rewiring, new ceilings, and redecorated rooms. Second floor
handicapped access will be joined by exterior handicapped
access and other exterior renovations this coming year.
The Garza County Historical Museum was originally the Post
Sanitarium. In 1964, it was declared a Texas Historical
Landmark, in 1966, the Mason Memorial Building and in 1977
was put on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1911, plans for a Sanitarium, (the name today would be
hospital) were executed by Dr. A. R. Ponton and C. W. Post
to care for the medical needs of Post's new citizens. Stone
mason: "Scotty" Samson and James Napier, both Scotsmen were
hired to build the structure along with many other buildings
in the new town. The Colonial style was choses to represent
a dominance within the community. The building, constructed
of native stone had a second story veranda and a beautiful
front porch adorned with four large white stone columns.
The Sanitarium opened for business in 1912, a model
institution of its kind, noted as the "first hospital in
this part of West Texas" (within a range of twenty-four
counties) and the best equipped hospital this side of Fort
Worth. Equipment included a laboratory, x-ray room,
operating and sterilizing room. The 25 rooms each had its
own private baths, central steam heat, electricity and
electric call bells. There were two wards, male and female
with adjoining baths plus private and professional
Doctors on staff were: Drs. A. R. Ponton (Chief Surgeon) A.
R. Surman, D. C. Williams, and G. G. Castleberry. The
hospital also served as a nurses training school.
By 1917, WWI took its toll on the Post medical community as
the doctors were called to serve their country. Inevitable
with all the doctors in military service, the Post
Sanitarium closed in 1918. Dr. Ponton, the only doctor left
moved to Lubbock to start another hospital. Lubbock General
- later to become Methodist, which is now the part of the
When the doctors finally returned home, everything had
changed so much, the facility had was in disrepair, staff
had disappeared, the heating plant was out of date, plumbing
had gone insufficient, other hospitals were in the area.
Drs. Surman, Williams, and Castleberry formed a partnership
and started their practice in downtown Post. Castleberry
moved to Lubbock eventually and Surman and Williams
practiced medicine together for the balance of their
careers. The former offices of the duo is now used by the
Senior Citizens of Post.
Later the building, was purchased by Marshall Mason, who
converted the building into the Colonial Apartments.
The property was donated to Garza County in 1967 by Marshall
Mason Jr. and Mrs. James Minor after their parents deaths to
be used as a museum.
"Life On The Texas
Captain John M. Elkins
book on the early Texas Rangers in West Texas
with contributing chapter by Jep Brown, uncle of
Boley Brown who was a early cattle king in Kent
and Garza County. Interesting information on
pioneer activities that helped settle this area.