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Photo and information from: Garza County, Texas Historical Museum

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 consulting rooms.

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 Covenant Care.

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 Frontier"

by: Captain John M. Elkins

A 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.



Contact:  TXGenWeb Garza Co., TX - CC