County Seat, Texas
Junction of US Hwy 385 and Hwy 86
21 Miles SE of
67 miles SW of
Population: 4,375 (2000)
in a Pecan Shell
County was named after Henri Castro; the same man who had Medina County's
named after him. W. C. Dimmitt was a partner in the original land development
of the county and had nothing to do with Dimmit County down in South
Texas, which is a misspelling of Phillip Dimmitt's name. Phillip Dimmitt had
served in the Texas Revolution at Goliad.
Now that that is clear, lets move on to the gunfight.
on Jones Street
While county-seat disputes were common in Texas,
rarely did they result in fatal gunplay. This was the case however, in the dispute
between rivals Dimmitt and Castro City back in 1891. Developer
Ira Aten and Andy McClelland got into it on the courthouse
lawn and a plaque
commemorates the event today.
The Handbook of Texas didn't mention
the Victor (probably because it was just Andy and Ira in the gunfight), so we
called the chamber and was about to ask if they'd go out and read the plaque
for us. We spoke with Bill Sava, who seems to know his town and county well. He
was able to tell us that there were no fatalities from the gunfight, and he didn't
even have to leave his office.
Celebrated Jackrabbit Roundup of
On a lighter note, Mr. Sava told us of the Dimmitt Jackrabbit Roundup that
occurred in 1925. He got the story straight from one of the participants, who
has since passed away. The idea was to round up the pesky varmints, (of which
there was then a plague) and ship them to California, which was jackrabbit deficient.
It drew quite a crowd and while people scoffed at the idea, visitors from neighboring
counties were taking notes, just in case it was a success. Kind of like chambers
of commerce today.
a corral of sorts was set up and when the rabbits were herded in, people noticed
that jackrabbits aren't like the plump ones that the French serve. But, they were
there and so were the rabbits, so the event proceeded. Mr. Sava told us that they
soon found out that jackrabbits were extremely territorial and didn't like being
crowded. They jumped out of the corral like grasshoppers (see the Great Grasshopper
Roundup of 1934) from a hot skillet. The narrator said (probably between tears)
that the entire end result was one dead rabbit that had been hit by a club-wielding
boy who might've mistaken him for a small piñata.
for our sophisticated and urban audience, we'll pass along a country proverb:
"Never shoot a slow rabbit." Of course, there is no need to shoot rabbits anyway,
since we now have grocery stores, but the reasoning behind the proverb is that
a slow rabbit is not a healthy rabbit, and that unhealthy rabbits when eaten can
make you sick. Like most proverbs, they don't explain a thing, they just preach
to you and if you don't listen and die a slow and painful death, then the proverb
goblin will appear to say: "We told you so." Back
at the corral
It was doubtful
that the railroad would send a refrigerated car for one rabbit, and certainly
not for a piñata. But while the townsfolk were pondering their next move, a dust
storm blew in and the people scattered like the jackrabbits had done a few minutes
before, running home to close their windows like people elsewhere do for rainstorms.
No one mentioned the event for some time, and when they did it was in hushed tones.
We're thankful the story reached Mr. Sava and he was able to share it with us.
humble suggestion is that Dimmitt should erect a small, yet dignified monument
to the Unknown Jackrabbit and turn it into a roadside attraction. Don't laugh.
Look at what Eastland County did with a
"I think I got the whole town in this image. While this doesn't
show much of Dimmitt, it represents how I see my hometown."
January 02, 2006
Castro County Courthouse is a rather plain one, replacing the 1906 courthouse,
which had to be better looking. It's located on the square on Broadway and Texas
Hwy 86, known locally as Bedford Street. The
Castro County Historical Museum
404 West Halsell St. in the old Carter House.
Open Mon. through Fri.
1 to 5.
J. W. Carter was the first resident physician in Dimmitt.
Theater in Dimmitt|
Photo courtesy Billy
Smith, July 1990
21 miles North on US Hwy 385 to Hereford,
30 miles East on Hwy 60 to Canyon,
another 16 miles North on I-27 to Amarillo.
Local & Tourist Information
Dimmitt Chamber of Commerce:
Bedford - Telephone: 806-647-2524
Castro County map|
Courtesy Texas General Land Office