"If "Less is More" then
Even Less is Even More."
County Seat, West Texas
State Hwy 302 (off 285)
21 miles NE of Pecos
38 miles W of Kermit
94 miles W of Odessa
2 miles NE of ghost town Porterville
Population: Estimated 50
Texas Area Hotels
marker is just a preview of things to come
"Entering Loving County"
Photo by James
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.
lone café in Mentone|
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.
visit 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.
- The oldest building in Loving County
Photo courtesy Richard Berger, April 2004
Rick Vanderpool reported that when he visited Mentone (one always remember's
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?
out and touch someone - anyone!
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.
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).
current Mentone Post Office
former Mentone Post Office|
| 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
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
10 Slogans for Mentone, Texas >
"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
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
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
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
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
© John Troesser
Since September 2000
in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that
anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos
of their town, please contact
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