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PONDER, TEXAS

Denton County, Central Texas North

33°10'47"N 97°17'9"W (33.179741, -97.285805)
Formerly at the crossroads of FM 156 and FM 2449
8 Miles SW of Denton
41 Miles N of Fort Worth
Population: 1,395 (2010) 507 (2000) 432 (1990)

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Ponder State Bank building detail, Ponder Texas
Ponder State Bank building detail
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2007

History in a Pecan Shell

Settlement had begun in the 1850s when a gristmill was established by one Silas Christal. Christal and his neighbors sat in tranquility, milling grist and swapping stories until the railroad arrived in 1886.

With typical arrogance, the railroad renamed the community Gerald – the namesake being long forgotten. When it became time for a post office, the residents were shocked and saddened to learn the name was already in use.

Enter landowner and Denton banker W. A. Ponder, who stepped forward to help out. His name was accepted by postal authorities and in 1893, storekeeper C. N. Skaggs opened the Ponder post office in his place of business.

H. F. Wakefield donated land for Ponder’s first school in 1897 but it wasn’t until 1903 that the town was properly surveyed.

The Ponder State Bank and the Ponder Hotel opened in 1910 and a waterworks was in place and operating by 1912, even though the population was less than 100. In fact, the population was a mere 84 residents in the early 1920s.

The Ponder Rodeo began in 1939 and attracted attendees from all over the region. Rationing during WWII moved the event to Denton, but after the war it moved back. Denton had grown rather fond of hosting a rodeo and started its own in 1950. Ponder found out just how fickle the public can be. Denton’s success caused Ponder to abandon their event.

Typically, Ponder’s population was around 250. It dropped to 179 in the 1970s, but has since increased to 432 by 1990 and 507 by 2000.

Ponder State Bank building , Ponder Texas
Ponder State Bank building
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2007
More Texas Banks
Ponder Tx Methodist Church
Ponder Methodist Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2007
Ponder Tx Church Of Christ
Church Of Christ in Ponder
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2007
More Texas Churches
Sana Fe caboose in Ponder, Texas
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2007
See Texas Depots | Texas Railroads

Related Story:

"Everybody's Talkin': The Top Films of 1965-1969"
by Barry Monush

Book review by Dr. Kirk Bane
"Fifty years ago, Bonnie and Clyde, released in the summer of 1967, exploded on the screen, exhilarating many viewers, alienating others, and deeply dividing critics. Brilliantly scripted by Texan Robert Benton and his writing partner, David Newman, and adeptly directed by Arthur Penn, the film starred Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in the title roles. This groundbreaking motion picture was an unusual, and compelling, blend of violence, humor, social commentary, and banjo music. Penn shot his masterpiece in the Lone Star State, home of the notorious desperado couple, in such towns as Ponder, Pilot Point, Midlothian, Waxahachie, and Red Oak....." more

Take a road trip

Ponder, Texas Nearby Towns:
Denton | Fort Worth
See Denton County | Central Texas North

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