HAY FLAT, TEXAS. Hay Flat was eight miles northwest of Kermit in northwestern Winkler County. In 1900 the four-section homestead law was passed, and new settlers came to the county. Some of the homesteaders settled near the T-Bar Ranch, which covered about 100 sections of land in Winkler and Loving counties. Those who lived on and around the T-Bar Ranch successfully petitioned for a post office in 1910, the year Winkler County was organized. They named the post office for the surrounding prairie's stirrup-high grass, which flattened when crossed by travelers. Since no railroad came to northern Winkler County until 1929, when the Texas-New Mexico Railway built a line from Monahans to Kermit and on to the New Mexico state line, mail came to Hay Flat in 1910 by horseback from Pyote in Ward County. In 1910 a school was built at Hay Flat, and Edith Davis was the teacher for the first four-month term. The Hay Flat school was consolidated with the Kermit school on August 11, 1913; that year the community's post office also closed. Later the schools' consolidation was declared illegal because Kermit and Hay Flat were originally in different districts. The two districts were separated again in March 1928, and a school was established at Wink. The school building at Hay Flat was used as a Sunday School for several years. From 1916 to 1920 the county experienced a drought, and most of the community's residents moved away. Hay Flat is not shown on the 1972 county highway map.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: A History of Winkler County (Kermit, Texas: Winkler County Historical Commission, 1984). Jim Wheat, More Ghost Towns of Texas (Garland, Texas: Lost and Found, 1971).
Julia Cauble Smith