towns aplenty in
my research, I continue to find more Texas
Panhandle ghost towns I didn't know existed.
Ray Carter from Lefors
called my attention to Codman,
located in Roberts County. The site is located eight miles southwest
alongside the Santa Fe Railroad tracks. The legend and lore appears
to be as follows, based on several different but interesting versions.
Codman began as an 'end-of-track' tent town used during construction
of the tracks. A nearby spring of fresh water helped the town become
permanent. The railroad built a section foreman's house plus a bunkhouse
for single crew employees. A post office was established in 1892,
closed a year later then opened again in 1901 when additional homes
and businesses came to town.
Eventually, a general store and two grain elevators operated successfully
until the town of Hoover,
just up-track to the west, began to grow. Later, when Highway 60 located
away from the town, Codman began to fade into the past.
Codman's most infamous moment came during elections in early Roberts
County history. Citizens were voting on a county seat location, with
Parnell and Miami being the choices. Somehow, when Codman's approximate
population of eight or nine citizens turned in 35-plus votes in favor
the situation turned sour. A marshal came, arrested the election judges,
voided the election results, and the county records were taken back
to Parnell at gunpoint, according to one version.
Samuel Edge, a landowner at Codman,
was also one of the early founders of Miami, selling lots and starting
early day businesses. Edge's daughter, who never married, inherited
some two sections of her father's land at Codman, and when she died,
she willed her land to the United Nations Assembly. No reasons are
known for this rather strange decision. Not surprisingly, the United
Nations Assembly had little use for land in Roberts County, Texas,
and offered it for sale. Local citizens purchased the property with
considerable time, effort and paperwork involved to gain clear title.
This might be the only land abstract in Texas showing the United Nations
as a former owner of rural property.
I can just see the entire United Nations Assembly, with all the different
nationalities and multiple language problems, trying to make everyone
understand why they were selling land in Roberts County, Texas.
Samuel Edge donated land for a rural school just north of the town
and the resulting building was christened Edge School in his honor.
Hoover and Pampa
prospered, Codman wasted away. The consolidation of public schools
and combining railroad section crews finally sealed the fate of the
town. Today, very little of the original town site is visible to the
Like most early day ghost towns, Codman
had its heyday, earned its fame or infamy, then perished over a period
of time due to weather and salvage efforts. This gives us another
bit of history about the Panhandle of Texas' early settlements.
Thanks to Carl Williamson and others who furnished the information
and stories about Codman.
© Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew" March
11, 2006 column
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