"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."
Bryan Mayfield, January 02, 2006
in a Pecan Shell
The County was named after Henri Castro; the same man who had
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.
| 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 Castro County
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.
Well, 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 piņata.
Now, 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 piņata. 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.
Our 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
The 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
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.
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.
Dimmitt Local & Tourist Information
Dimmitt Chamber of Commerce:
115 W. Bedford - Telephone: 806-647-2524
| 1940s Castro
Texas state map #4335
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
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