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    STANTON, TEXAS

    Martin County Seat, Texas Panhandle / West Texas
    I-20 and Hwy 137
    100 miles S of Lubbock
    18 miles NE of Midland
    21 miles SW of Big Spring

    Population: 2,556 (2000)

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    Stanton Texas downtown
    Downtown Stanton
    Photo courtesy of Jason Penney

    History in a Pecan Shell

    Originally called Grelton, Stanton was just a spot next to the Texas and Pacific Railroad tracks when it came through in 1881.

    German Catholics from Kansas and Arkansas were the first settlers. They imported the lumber which was nailed together to form the first buildings.

    The town was renamed Marienfeld in 1885.

    The First Catholic Church in West Texas was built in 1881 and the next year the first school in West Texas was opened.

    A monastery and a convent were built and while the nuns opened schools and hospitals in Pecos and Fort Stockton, the priests would take the train to Big Spring and Midland to say Mass.

    The Sisters of Mercy Convent

    convent in Stanton, Texas
    The Convent
    Photo courtesy Jason Penney
    convent Stanton Texas
    The Convent, back
    Photo courtesy Jason Penney
    Stanton Texas convent historical marker
    The historical marker
    Photo courtesy Jason Penney

    After severe droughts, the agricultural dreams of the Germans were dashed and they were forced to move to greener pastures (in this case Louisiana pastures).

    As the population that named the town Marienfeld dwindled, the town was renamed again (1890) by the schoolchildren of the town who chose (presumably with some help from faculty) Stanton after Lincoln's Secretary of War and Supreme Court Justice Edwin McMasters Stanton.

    The Jail

    The old jail has served a variety of jobs, including museum and library. Originally part of the old courthouse, the holding cells were kept after the courthouse was razed and the (then new) jail built around them

    Stanton Texas jail
    The Stanton Jail. Photo courtesy Jason Penney
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    cross in Stanton Texas cemetery
    The Catholic Cemetery
    Photo courtesy Jason Penney

    A 1938 tornado hit the town and closed the Catholic academy, which had already been suffering low enrollment. A 1950 flood did considerable, but not catastrophic damage. Shortly thereafter oil was discovered and the economy recovered.

    In 1977, the Texas and Pacific Railroad discontinued service 96 years after arriving in Grelton.

    Martin County Courthouse
    Stanton Texas theater
    Stanton's Texas Theater
    Photo courtesy Jason Penney

    Stanton Stories

    Joe Pruno by Mike Cox
    The story of Joe A. Pruno reads like a Victorian-era dime novel, complete with ample exaggeration, outright fabrication and historical inaccuracies... . [He] was buried in the town’s Catholic cemetery. If he ever had a tombstone, it has not been located. Neither has his treasure.

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

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