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MONAHANS, TEXAS

"The Oasis of the West Texas Desert"

Ward County Seat, West Texas
I-20 and Hwy 18
36 miles W of Odessa
26 miles E of Pecos
51 miles N of Fort Stockton
About 106 Miles S of Lovington, New Mexico
Population: 7,095 (2010) 6,821 (2000)

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Cowboy and horse by the fence metal sign
Welcome to Monahans
TE photo
History in a Pecan Shell

In gratitude for digging the first water well in the vicinity (1881), the community was named for Thomas John (Pat) Monahan but was first known as Monahan’s Well. Things got started with the arrival of the Texas and Pacific Railroad in August of the same year and two years later a post office was granted.

Although it had a railroad connection, few people stopped. It wasn’t until 1900 when the first hotel opened – two years after the first school.

By 1905 the community finally could report eighty-nine residents and five years later it had increased to nearly 400. But after that growth slowed until the West Texas Oil Boom of the mid 1920s.

Monahans incorporated in 1928 and the demand of supplies for the oil industry added another rail connection in 1929. The Texas-Mexico Railroad ran a line from Lovington, New Mexico – a distance of about 100 miles, passing through Hobbs, New Mexico and Kermit, Texas.

The 1930 population was just over 800 and unlike most of the country, Monahans experienced a boom through the Great Depression.

By 1938 Monahans replaced Barstow as the county seat and two years later the town could boast of having nearly 4,000 residents. By 1950 it had increased to 6,300 and peaked in 1960 with 8,567. (See Monahans in the 1950s) It floated just below that figure for decades, but the 2000 census reported a drop to 6,821.

Monahans, Texas Landmarks, Attractions
& Nearby Destinations

Ward County Courthouse, Monahan, Texas
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, 2005
Ward County Courthouse
Million Barrel Museum aerial view
The Million Barrel Museum
Camel riders in Monahans Sandhill State Park
Photo courtesy Doug Baum
Monahans Sandhills State Park
One of the most interesting arboreal oddities in the United States.
5 miles East of Monahans


The Largest Oak Forest in North America
In Quercus Veritas
by Mike Cox
"Most visitors come to the state park at Monahans to play on the acres of Sahara-like sand dunes rising as high as 70 feet, not to see the Havard oaks. However, for those who are interested, the “forest” is readily accessible from the paved roadway that winds through the park...
more."
Pyote Texas Rattlesnake Bomber Base Hangar ruins
Photo courtesy Lexie Nichols and Jordan Gibson, April 2007
Pyote Museum and Rattlesnake Bomber Base
Training Base for B-17 Bombers during WWII.
On I-20 15 miles West of Monahans in Pyote.
Hurry back
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2010
Monahans' Metal Sculptures
Metal art street signs in Monahans
Monahans Tx Closed Truck Stop Sign
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2010
Monahans Tx Sunset Motel Sign
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2010
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2010
Monahans Tx Murals
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2010
Monahans Tx Mural
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2010
Monahans Tx Mural
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2010
Monahans Texas 1954
"This is my brother (seated) and me. Murray's Hardware can be seen across the street. Its probably Main Street in Monahans. The date on the pic is 1954. Obviously a hot west Texas afternoon."
- Rex Parsons
Monahans in the 1950s >
Monahans Tourist Information
Monahans Chamber of Commerce: 432-943-2187
Website: www.monahans.org

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Ward County TX 1920s Map
1920s Ward County Map showing Monahans
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
Monahans, Texas
Area Towns:

Odessa
Pecos
Fort Stockton
Barstow
Grand Falls
See West Texas
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