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Lipscomb County Towns

Source: The Handbook of Texas Online

LIPSCOMB
DOMINION
TIMMS CITY
GAYLORD
FOLLETT
HUNTOON
DARROUZETT
BOOKER
HIGGINS
GLAZIER

LIPSCOMB

Lipscomb, the county seat of Lipscomb County, is on State Highway 305 in the central part of the county. Originally its site in Wolf Creek Valley was deemed a cattleman's paradise. In 1886 J. W. Arthur, anticipating the arrival of the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway, established a combination store and post office at the site. Arthur named his townsite Lipscomb, after pioneer judge Abner Smith Lipscomb. Frank Biggers, the county's leading developer, organized the town company, which sold land for three dollars an acre. The next year, Lipscomb was elected county seat after a heated contest with the rival townsites of Dominion and Timms City. John Howlett operated a general store; John N. Theisen took over the Gilbert Hotel after its move from Dominion; H. G. Thayer managed a saddle and harness shop. A school district was established for the community. Liquor flowed freely at the Alamo Saloon until 1908, when the county voted to go dry. As it turned out, the railroad routed its tracks south of the townsite. Subsequent attempts to get a railroad line to Lipscomb were unsuccessful, as was the attempt of local businessmen to develop a coal mine in 1888, after a five-inch vein was discovered in the area. The present courthouse was built in 1916. The community's position as the county seat, coupled with the success of W. E. Merydith's real estate ventures, has enabled the town to survive. By 1910 several churches, a bank, a drugstore, and various other businesses had been established there. Lipscomb has had two newspapers, the Panhandle Interstate and the Lipscomb County Limelight. Only two businesses and the post office remained at the community by 1980. Nevertheless, the importance of the town as a farming and ranching center, along with oil and gas explorations in the vicinity, kept Lipscomb's economy alive. For most of the twentieth century, its population level has remained fairly stable: population was reported as 200 in 1910, 175 in 1930, 200 in 1940, and 190 in 1980. By 1990 it was estimated as forty-five. Though in the early 1990s Lipscomb remained the smallest town in the county, was off the main highways, and lacked rail facilities, it was still the permanent county seat.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: A History of Lipscomb County, Texas, 1876-1976 (Lipscomb, Texas: Lipscomb County Historical Survey Committee, 1976). F. Stanley [Stanley F. L. Crocchiola], The Lipscomb, Texas, Story (Nazareth, Texas, 1975).

H. Allen Anderson



DOMINION

Dominion, on Wolf Creek in Lipscomb County near the Oklahoma state line, was one of two townsites that rivaled Lipscomb for the position of county seat. It was founded by two land agents, C. P. Walker and John Holzapfel, employees of the Interstate Town Company in Colony, Kansas. It was platted in February 1887 and named for the fact that its site was in the heart of the Dominion Cattle Company's holdings (see BOX T RANCH). The town's planners, anticipating the arrival of the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway, reportedly sold $15,000 worth of land, in twenty-four sections. S. T. Gilbert erected a two-story hotel there. However, the railroad bypassed the site, Lipscomb was chosen county seat, and the Dominion townsite was abandoned within a matter of months. Gilbert's hotel was moved to Lipscomb under new ownership. Laura V. Hamner commented that Dominion's advertising circulars "claimed 5,000 inhabitants. This claim could be substantiated since they had fully 5,000 prairie dogs as residents."

BIBLIOGRAPHY: A History of Lipscomb County, Texas, 1876-1976 (Lipscomb, Texas: Lipscomb County Historical Survey Committee, 1976).

H. Allen Anderson



TIMMS CITY

Timms City was four miles southwest of the site of present Darrouzett in northern Lipscomb County. It was begun in 1887 and was one of two towns competing with Lipscomb to become county seat. It was named for George Timms, a Kansas financier who backed the community. Soon, Timms City had a hotel, several saloons, a post office, a newspaper (the Texas Tribune), and various other businesses. However, the election of Lipscomb as the permanent county seat quickly led to the town's demise. One county businessman, H. E. Hoover, described it as "one year growing and four years dying." By the time the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway pushed through this portion of the county in 1919, Timms City had disappeared.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: A History of Lipscomb County, Texas, 1876-1976 (Lipscomb, Texas: Lipscomb County Historical Survey Committee, 1976).

H. Allen Anderson



GAYLORD

Gaylord, on a mail route five miles east of Booker in northwestern Lipscomb County, was established in 1917 as a station on the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway and was named for an employee of the line. There A. L. Clarke established a general store and a post office, which closed in 1922; the store was moved to Booker. A grain elevator in the community continued to operate until the late 1940s. Gaylord reported a store and a population of twenty-five in 1940. Its grain elevator was torn down in 1960, and the 1982 county highway map identified Gaylord only as a railroad stop.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: A History of Lipscomb County, Texas, 1876-1976 (Lipscomb, Texas: Lipscomb County Historical Survey Committee, 1976).

H. Allen Anderson



FOLLETT

Follett, on State Highway 15 in northeastern Lipscomb County, was established in 1917 by Santa Fe railroad official Thomas C. Spearman as a townsite on the North Texas and Santa Fe Railway. It was named for Horace Follett, a locating engineer for the line. The town boomed almost overnight, as the citizens of Ivanhoe, Oklahoma, moved their homes and businesses across the state line to the new railroad. In 1917 Follett acquired a post office, and by 1920, when the town was incorporated, its population had grown to 550. The Farmer's Grain Cooperative soon made Follett a wheat and grain sorghum storage and distribution center and helped give rise to its nickname, "Gateway to the Golden Spread." By 1940 the town reported thirty businesses and a population of 431. During the 1980s the area produced grain and cattle. Beginning in the 1950s it also produced oil and gas. Modern irrigation techniques aided agriculture. In 1980 Follett reported thirty-seven businesses and a population of 547. In 1990 its population was estimated at 441.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: A History of Lipscomb County, Texas, 1876-1976 (Lipscomb, Texas: Lipscomb County Historical Survey Committee, 1976).

H. Allen Anderson



HUNTOON

Huntoon, on State Highway 15 in northeastern Ochiltree County, was laid out in 1919 on the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway and named for Joel M. Huntoon, a former director of the railway. A general store and a grain elevator were built in 1927, but by 1933 the store had closed. A post office operated in Huntoon from 1921 until the 1930s. In 1948 the school was discontinued, when Booker, five miles east, absorbed part of the school district. In 1984 and 1990 Huntoon had a population of twenty-one and no businesses.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: A History of Lipscomb County, Texas, 1876-1976 (Lipscomb, Texas: Lipscomb County Historical Survey Committee, 1976). Texas Almanac, 1984-85.

H. Allen Anderson



DARROUZETT

Darrouzett, on State Highway 15 in northern Lipscomb County, began as a station on the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway in 1917. The town was platted at the junction of Plummer and Kiowa creeks and was originally named Lourwood after Opal Lourwood, the first child born there. Upon completion of the rail line in 1919-20, the town was renamed in honor of Texas legislator John Louis Darrouzett, who served as an attorney for the Santa Fe. Settlers and businesses moved south from the Sunset community in Oklahoma to be near the railroad. By 1920, when it was incorporated, Darrouzett had various businesses, two churches, a school, a post office, and a population of 425. The Darrouzett Cooperative Association was formed to make the town a grain-marketing center. A bank, a high school, and several grain elevators were added by 1930. During the 1940s and 1950s Darrouzett became "the best paved town per capita of the Panhandle," at a cost of some $80,000. In 1972 Darrouzett's leaders launched the Village Improvement Plan, under which recreational facilities were improved and expanded and cultural events like the annual Deutsches Fest were initiated. In 1984 Darrouzett reported twelve businesses and a population of 444. In 1990 its population was 343.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: A History of Lipscomb County, Texas, 1876-1976 (Lipscomb, Texas: Lipscomb County Historical Survey Committee, 1976).

H. Allen Anderson



BOOKER

Booker, at the intersection of State highways 15 and 23, in northwestern Lipscomb County, originated seven miles to the northwest in 1909 as La Kemp, Oklahoma. The town, including the post office, was moved piecemeal from Oklahoma to Texas in 1919, when the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway was extended from Shattuck, Oklahoma, to Spearman, Texas. The new townsite was platted in August 1917 by Thomas C. Spearman and named for B. F. Booker, a civil engineer with the line. By 1920 the town had grain elevators, cattle-shipping pens, a bank, a school, three churches, and a population of 600. By 1929 modern utilities had been installed. Due to the Great Depression and Dust Bowl,q Booker's population decreased from 495 in 1930 to 386 in 1940. But by 1949 agricultural recovery, new farming techniques, and oil exploration had caused the population to increase to 1,500. In 1984 the town had 1,219 residents and fifty-two businesses. In addition to its farm and ranch economy, after 1956 Booker greatly benefited from local oil and gas production. A new sewage plant was completed in 1966, and a new hospital and clinic were built in 1973. The town is incorporated. In 1990 it had a population of 1,236 and reached into Ochiltree County.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Mrs. Lowell Bowdle and Mrs. Mason Lemons, eds., Dimensions of Progress: Fiftieth Anniversary of Booker, Texas, 1919-1969 (1969). A History of Lipscomb County, Texas, 1876-1976 (Lipscomb, Texas: Lipscomb County Historical Survey Committee, 1976).

H. Allen Anderson



HIGGINS

Higgins, on U.S. Highway 60 two miles from the Oklahoma border in southeastern Lipscomb County, is in the heart of the North Texas grasslands of the early cattle ranges. The area has been associated with Juan de Padilla, a Franciscan monk who came with Francisco Vazquez de Coronado, later returned to work among the Indians, and was martyred in 1544. The actual site of his missionary activity, however, is unknown. Settlement of the site began in 1886, when the Santa Fe Railroad made preliminary surveys of the vicinity for extending its Panhandle branch line, then known as the Southern Kansas, from Wichita. E. C. Gray and the brothers James and George Patton filed claims and built their homes on these survey sections. The following year B. H. Eldridge and E. B. Purcell laid out the town, which they named for G. H. Higgins of Massachusetts, a wealthy stockholder in the Santa Fe. The coming of the railroad attracted more homesteaders and businessmen, and by 1888 a post office, a school, a saloon, a hotel, a livery stable, and several stores had been erected. Area ranchers soon made the town a major cattle-shipping point. In 1898 nineteen-year-old Will Rogers came to Higgins and worked for a time on the Ewing family's Little Robe Ranch. Higgins was incorporated in 1908 and won a considerable reputation as a progressive-minded community. Its citizens remodeled its downtown area in 1911 and again in 1929. Higgins has weathered depressions, dust storms, and cyclones, its worst disaster occurring on April 9, 1947, when a tornado claimed forty-five lives and devastated several residences and the business district. The local newspaper, the Higgins News, has been in operation since 1897; it replaced the earlier Courier, begun in 1888. The town is a grain and livestock marketing center and since 1956 has benefited from oil drilling. In 1984 Higgins reported a population of 702 and seventeen businesses. In 1962 the town began an annual observance of Will Rogers Day, in honor of the cowboy philosopher, who remained a close friend of Frank Ewing, the son of his old employer. In 1990 the population was 464.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936-1958; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976). A History of Lipscomb County, Texas, 1876-1976 (Lipscomb, Texas: Lipscomb County Historical Survey Committee, 1976).

H. Allen Anderson



GLAZIER

Glazier, on U.S. Highway 60 in north central Hemphill County, was founded when the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway reached its site. It was named for H. C. Glazier, a friend of pioneer merchant J. F. Johnson, on whose ranchland the town was platted in 1887. The location north of the Canadian River made Glazier an ideal shipping point for area cattlemen, especially during the rainy season when the river rose. When farmers settled in that area, they freighted their wheat by horse team to the railroad grain elevator at Glazier. By 1915 Glazier was a thriving town with a bank, a newspaper, and a population reported at around 300. The extension of the Santa Fe line in 1916 from Shattuck, Oklahoma, to Spearman, Texas, drew away much of the cattle and wheat trade of Ochiltree and Lipscomb counties, on which Glazier had depended. In June 1916 a fire that started in a feed mill destroyed most of Glazier's business district. The town declined by 1920 to a population of 140. A tornado claimed twelve lives at Glazier in April 1946. By then only the post office and three businesses remained, and in 1959 the post office was closed. By 1984 Glazier reported twenty residents and no businesses. In 1990 its population was estimated at forty-five.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Sallie B. Harris, Cowmen and Ladies: A History of Hemphill County (Canyon, Texas: Staked Plains, 1977). Glyndon M. Riley, The History of Hemphill County (M.A. thesis, West Texas State College, 1939). F. Stanley [Stanley F. L. Crocchiola], Rodeo Town (Canadian, Texas) (Denver: World, 1953).

H. Allen Anderson

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This page was last updated January 9, 2014.