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Loving County TX
Loving County

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Pecos Hotels


Suggested Slogan:
"If "Less is More" then
Even Less is Even More."

Loving County Seat, West Texas

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

31° 42' 23" N, 103° 35' 54" W
(31.706389, -103.598333)
State Hwy 302 (off 285)
27 miles NE of Pecos
28 miles W of Kermit
75 miles W of Odessa
2 miles NE of ghost town Porterville
ZIP code 79754
Area code 432
Population: 22 (2020) 19 (2010)
County population: 82 (2010)

Mentone, Texas Area Hotels
Pecos Hotels
Mentone Texas historical marker
The bullet-ridden marker is just a preview of things to come
TE photo

Entering Loving County, Texas
Texas 302 East
"Entering Loving County"

Photo by James Feagin, 2002

The Town that makes Archer City look like Mexico City

Mentone has become famous for its lack of people. Besides no newspaper, no grocery, no doctor and no school children (they do have a school, but its been closed since the 70s), they also have to haul in drinking water. They even rely on nearby Kermit or Pecos for the use of their cemeteries. People have been buried in Loving County, but their graves are only of interest to archeologists.
Top 10 Slogans for Mentone, Texas

Cafe in Mentone Texas
The lone café in Mentone
TE photo

Collision in Downtown Mentone!
or The Loneliness of the Long Distance Roadrunner

There is a Loving County Courthouse and a Loving County/Mentone post office. There may or may not be a café. It's hard to tell if it's open.

Our visit (2000) occurred on a Sunday morning, which traditionally is a slow day for Mentone. We were following a roadrunner down the main street (observing all traffic laws), hoping he/she would pause so we could photograph him/ her. There was a snake in his/her mouth, but this is not unusual. Especially in Mentone. The roadrunner was avoiding us and was still trying to keep his/her grip on the snake when it (the roadrunner) collided with a rabbit. Evidently the rabbit was so shocked at seeing humans that he/she froze and the preoccupied roadrunner almost impaled him/her with his/her beak. The rabbit quickly came to his/her senses and resumed normal rabbit activity in Sunday morning Mentone.
Rick Vanderpool reported that when he visited Mentone (one always remember one's visit to Mentone) he spotted a coyote three blocks from the courthouse (Mentone City Limits) at 2:37 in the afternoon. The coyote was probably leaving town after a messy divorce. Where's Marlin Perkins when we really need him?
Telephone booth in Mentone
Reach out and touch someone - anyone!
TE photo

The Mentone Dialtone or
When the phone doesn't ring, it's probably a wrong number.

We had heard a rumor that the last quarter removed from the Mentone phone was bronze. There had been an AP story a few years ago about a decision to remove this Loving County lifeline. It bothered us to the point that we swore if we were ever one hundred miles from Mentone; we would check it out. We were, we did, and we are glad it's there.
Loving County Courthouse

Loving County Courthouse
Don't forget to pick up some famous Mentone Brine.

TE photo, 2000

The town so nice they incorporated twice

Mentone also has the distinction of being the only county in Texas that was incorporated twice. It seems that they got behind in their taxes back a long time ago and Winkler County held the deeds to the 6 or 8 ranches until things were put straight.

Mentone turns down government money they would get from revenue sharing (but they're nice about it).
Mentone Texas post office

The current Mentone Post Office

TE photo, 2000

Mentone former post office
The former Mentone Post Office
TE photo, 2000

Naming of Menton

The story is that Mentone was named after Menton, France. Since Menton is on the French Riviera, it's doubtful that a homesick Frenchman was reminded of his hometown, but then again, that's the story. Don't look for a Sister City relationship anytime soon.

Ray Miller's excellent Eyes of Texas Travel Guide in 1981 had a photo of a calendar that hung in the Mentone Service Station. It showed a view of Menton, France. We'd love to hear the story of how the calendar came to be there.
John Troesser
First published September 2000
Top 10 Slogans for Mentone, Texas

Mentone Revisited

Mentone Church &
Former Schoolhouse

The oldest building in Loving County

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1965

Mentone TX - Church wedding
Wedding in Loving County
TE photo, September 2009

Mentone TX -  Loving County wedding ring
TE photo, September 2009

Mentone TX - Church piano
Church piano
TE photo, September 2009

Mentone TX - Church vintage photos in display
Church vintage photos in display
TE photo, September 2009

Mentone TX - Church & former schoolhouse
Historic church & former schoolhouse in Mentone
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, November 2009

Mentone TX - Church & former schoolhouse  historical marker
Church historical marker
3 blocks N. of Courthouse, Mentone
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, November 2009

Historical marker:


Built 1910 in Porterville, a town abandoned after Pecos River flood of 1930. Moved here for school and social center. Also used by various church groups and for non-denominational worship.

Oldest building in Loving County.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1965

Loving County courthouse, Mentone, Texas old photo
Loving County Courthouse and Mentone in 1939
Photo courtesy TXDoT

Historical marker
Hwy 302 (Ball Street) at Pecos Street:

Smallest County Seat in Texas

Only town in Loving County - last organized, most sparsely populated (both in total and per square mile) county in Texas.

Established 1931 and named for an earlier town (10 miles north) which legend says was named by a French surveyor-prospector after his home on the Riviera.

With population of 42, Mentone has no water system. (Water is hauled in.) Nor does it have a bank, doctor, hospital, newspaper, lawyer, civic club or cemetery. There are only two recorded graves in county. Some Indian skeletons, artifacts are found. Oil, farming, cattle country.

Loving County TX - View of Mentone from Porterville
Mentone as seen from the "Grand Canyon" near Porterville
Photo Courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp, 2002

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2005

Mentone Texas Old Oilfield Truck
Old Oilfield Truck in Mentone
1968 photo courtesy Barclay Gibson

Church in Mentone

Photo courtesy Richard Berger, April 2004

Loving County TX 1940s Map
From 1940 Texas state map #4335 showing Loving County
and ghost towns along the Pecos in Reeves County

Courtesy Texas General Land Office


By David Knape

Mentone's a town
that's almost gone,
just 19 people
call it home,
The town sits out there
all alone,
it's sad but Mentone's
on its own.

© d.knape
Top 10 Slogans for Mentone, Texas

Mentone, Texas Forum
  • Mentone in the late 1940s
    My dad worked for the Santa Fe Railroad and we lived in the railroad houses at nearby Arno, just across the river, during 1947-1951. I did my first four grades at Mentone. Those were the days of no electricity and outdoor facilities, but I don't recall those as hardships. I enjoy memories of those early days, and as I share those with my grandchildren they are astonished that everyone did not have a cell phone in Loving County in the late 1940s. - Winston Harold Cox, Jr. July 26, 2018

  • Subject: "Innnocents" Rare in 1950's Mentone
    My parents and I moved to Mentone around 1945 and left in 1959. I started school in Mentone in 1947 at the age of five. At that time, the population of Mentone was around 150. My father was a pumper for Gulf Oil and we lived about a mile from town.

    One of my girlfriend's daddy was the sheriff and we spent a lot of time playing in the courthouse. On the second floor of the courthouse was a large room where County Commissioners met each month and where the County Judge listened to legal cases. As kids, we decided and acted out our roles for the day. The "Judge" sat in the big chair behind the bench and would swear in the "accused and witnesses" (with their hand on the bible). The "lawyer" would ask questions. After deciding the accused's guilt (very seldom was anyone found innocent), the judge banged the gavel and sentenced the guilty child to time in jail. There was one small cell with 2 bunk beds. We'd all go in there and sit and the jailer (the sheriff's wife or some other mother) would bring in sandwiches and drinks and we'd have a picnic. Afterwards, we could all slide down the wood bannister to the first floor and go home.

    I started 5th grade in Pecos, TX and graduated from there in 1959 and my family moved from Mentone to Odessa. I have such fond memories of my life in Mentone and Pecos. I try to drive back out to Mentone anytime I'm in the area. My husband called it my "childhood fix. Of course, the house we lived in has been gone for many years but I can still find the old dirt road and the remnants and the memories. Thank you for [your magazine] and little piece of history from my past. - Patsy Powell, January 18, 2007

  • My Father worked for Pasotex Pipeline very near Mentone, Texas. I went to the school in Mentone. The year I started to school there were about 4-5 seniors that graduated from there. I went to the first, second and part of the third grade there. Then, we had to go to Pecos, Texas for the rest of my school. I graduated from Pecos, Texas in 1959. So, I know the school closed long before the 1970's. From Mentone, Texas, we moved down the road to Orla, Texas. We lived at the Standard Oil Pump Station called, Orla Station. Orla had a grocery with a post office in it and a cafe next door. There was a "motel" but people lived there. There was also a church. My Father helped get a school bus started from Pecos for all the Oil company children and ranchers children. When we first started there were my sister and myself and two other girls that were sisters. Their Father also worked for an oil company. When I graduated, there was the biggest bus that they made. I don't remember how many children were on the bus but it was full. - Rita Ann (Lee) Wagner, August 28, 2004

  • After having spent the weekend in southeast New Mexico with my best friend and her brother (both natives of Monterrey, NL, MX), I decided we should briefly visit Mentone on the return trip.

    We got photos of the courthouse, the old school that closed thirty years ago, the church, and the convenience store. We ended up at the Boot Track Cafe, where the cook whipped up what had to be the best tasting hamburgers we've had all year. They were also eager to discuss their town with us.

    By the way, today is the cook's birthday, and the friends who came to visit her even shared some cake with us. Regards - Edward A. Hamm, Dallas, Texas USA, 18/Nov/2002

  • ... I love the general style of the entries. The humor is great. I especially liked the nicknames for Mentone. Keep up the great work. This is the most exciting thing I've seen for Texas devotees since the Texas Almanac. - J. Barnes, Humble, December 28, 2001

  • Take a road trip

    West Texas

    Mentone, Texas Nearby Cities &Towns:
    Pecos | Kermit | Odessa
    See Loving County

    Book Hotel Here:
    Pecos Hotels | More Hotels
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