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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Texas Panhandle : Borger

BORGER, TEXAS

Hutchinson County, Texas Panhandle
Hwy 207& 152
50 miles NE of Amarillo via Hwy 60 or Hwy 136

Population: 14,302 (2000)

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Boom time Borger, Texas showing Theatre
Boom town Borger showing Theatre, late 1920s
Photos courtesy Ken Sharpe Collection
Borger Topics of Interest:
Borger Attractions

Scenic Drive
Borger Vintage Photos
Borger History
Borger Stories
Borger Area Ghost Towns
Borger Forum
Borger Hotels
History in a Pecan Shell

Eight times larger than the County Seat of Stinnett, Borger once boasted of a three-mile long main street when things like that were rare. Borger was a wild place in 1927. So wild, that Governor Dan Moody had to declare martial law and send in the Texas Rangers. The Ranger-in-charge was Captain Frank Hamer, who was to rain on Bonnie and Clyde's parade in '35. Gov. Moody didn't want to do it, but when a town shoots and kills its District Attorney, it's time to do something.

A One-sided Shootout
Named after Asa "Ace" Borger, land speculator and town builder, Borger lost its namesake in a one-sided shootout in the Borger Post Office in 1934. It seems that the County Treasurer, Arthur Huey (never trust a man with two first names) was miffed at Ace for not bailing him out of jail on an embezzlement charge. Huey confronted Ace while he was licking a stamp and called him a bunch of names. Mr. Borger could live with that; but then Huey shot him five times with a .45, which Mr. Borger could not live with. To add insult to fatal injury, Huey took Borger's .44 and shot him again (along with a few other postal patrons). It is not known if Mr. Borger's letter was ever delivered.
Borger Tx - Hutchinson County Museum

Hutchinson County Historical Museum. More Texas Museums
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009

BORGER ATTRACTIONS

  • Ace Borger's House, the first brick structure in Boomtown Borger is a town attraction.
  • Hutchinson County Historical Museum: History of Hutchinson County to its boomtown days. 618 N. Main St., 806-273-6121
  • Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, 16,000 acres managed by the National Park Service.
  • Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument (the only National Monument in Texas), next to Lake Meredith National Recreation Area.
  • Borger Hotels - Book Your Hotel Here & Save


    A Panhandle scenic drive near Borger
    The 25-mile loop (Texas 136 west, FM 1319 and FM 687) to the county seat of Stinnett is a Panhandle scenic drive. It crosses the Canadian River, eh?
  • Borger Tx - Quanah Parker portrait
    Portrait of Quanah Parker in
    Hutchinson County Museum
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
    Borger Tx New Deal Art Big City News
    The 1939 Post Office Mural "Big City News"
    Hutchinson County Museum
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
    Borger Tx - Ace Borger Home
    Ace Borger Home
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
    Borger Tx - Ace Borger Home historical marker
    Ace Borger Home historical marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009
    More Texas Historical Homes
    Borger Tx - Former Post Office
    Former Post Office. More Texas Post Offices
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2009

    BORGER VINTAGE PHOTOS

    Courtesy of Ken Sharpe Collection:
    Borger Downtown
    Oil Fields
    Dixon Creek
    Dixon Creek Canyon
    Borger, Texas Architecture
    Bridge, depot, school
    Sand storm in Borger, Texas, 1935
    "Sand Storm, Borger, Texas, April 1935"

    Postcard courtesy Bob Walker
       
    Night drilling in Borger, Texas
     
    L - Night drilling in Borger
    R - "Poison Gas and Poison Snakes"
    Photos Courtesy Ken Sharpe Collection
     
    BORGER CHRONICLES
    Mr. Acton's Story C. F. Eckhardt
    "...We headed for that light. It was slow going, but we made progress-but when we got to it, there was no house. There was just a glowing ball of light, maybe a foot or a foot and a half across, in the branches of a little tree..."
    Water and Ice
    Borger Area Ghost Towns
  • Isom, Texas -
    A Panhandle ghost town (absorbed by Borger), now inside the Borger city limits.
  • Electric City -
    A Panhandle ghost town, 3 miles north of Borger on the southern bank of the Canadian River.
  • Borger Texas Forum
  • Phillips and Borger
    Dear TE, Our family was from Borger, Texas, and my dad's brother, Sydney Wilson Bennett, worked in nearby Phillips at the refinery. I was born in Borger in 1948 and left for Wyoming in 1953. My aunt "Frankie" and uncle Wilson would babysit me and my sister at their company home in Phillips. We spent many, many a happy time there in the early years of our lives.

    About 30 years ago, I took my wife to see Borger and Phillips. We had our first child with us, and we parked our travel trailer across from my aunt and uncle's house in a friendly neighbor's driveway. I took my wife on a "tour" of Phillips and Borger, and we left a few days later, following a tornado. I just did not want to sit through another Panhandle tornado!

    I only learned of the demise of Phillips today! My aunt and uncle moved away when he retired from Phillips, to relocate in Bowie. Both are now deceased. I can't imagine Phillips having been leveled. - Jim Pixley, Corona, California, May 24, 2007

  • Subject: BORGER, TEXAS
    My daughter-in-law in Houston found your website (she is a teacher in creating websites & computer at Dobie High School in Pasadena, Texas) and she forwarded your site to me. I grew up in Borger, started to school there, graduated in 1940 and worked at the old Panhandle State Bank, starting while a junior in high school. At the time I knew everyone in town. I did an article on Dixon Creek for the Museum in Borger, having moved there when I was about 3 years old. My first memory of time is on Dixon Creek, and I have pictures of myself standing in front of our tent at what was then called "Tent City", up and down the banks of the Dixon Creek. Never met but one person who could go back to Tent City with me, and she is now deceased. I am 83 years of age now, and that seems so long ago, but I found your site nostalgic, and brought back many memories. - Elnora Engle Walker, January 12, 2007

  • Subject: RIVERVIEW POWER PLANT TX
    By chance found your site and was very interested in the pictures of camp. I was born in Borger and lived in Riverview. My dad worked at the Power Plant. I have looked at the images of the area on google earth and am able to place where we lived and even though the houses are long gone, the trees tell where they were. Thie image of camp you have on the site, does not seem to fit any of these configurations so was very puzzled unless it was not taken facing West. I do have images (will have to look for them) and when I find them, will email them to you. Do you have any other images I could see?

    It was quite a memory jogger and was delighted to realize how much was still there! Thanks for posting it. - Margot Carter Blair, April 02, 2006

  • Subject: William Henderson - Borger, TX - Isom Township
    My wife's step grandfather, William Henderson, was a land speculator from Alabama who first established the Isom township which later became Borger. He was the owner of the Black Hotel in Borger, and following the 1920s scandal (martial law) he was elected mayor of Borger. I have many newspaper clippings describing the events, and many early photographs of the people of the time (and an aerial photo of the original townsite). In addition I have letters and a journal that gives first hand accounts of the early history of Borger. I am beginning research so that I might write a biography of "Pop" Henderson and the beginnings of Borger. Can you give me any suggestions as to how I might proceed? Is there a way to access newspaper articles from that early time, or is there anything that can be gained from your museum? Perhaps I can come to Borger and speak to people who are familiar with the early history and who might shed some light on my research. Thanks. Thomas E. Casey, Colorado, usmasu1@cox.net , February 28, 2006
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