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Martin County
Martin County

Stanton Hotels


STANTON, TEXAS

Martin County Seat, Texas Panhandle / West Texas

32°7'51"N 101°47'31"W (32.130740, -101.792072)
I-20 and Hwy 137
100 miles S of Lubbock
18 miles NE of Midland
21 miles SW of Big Spring
Population: 2,980 Est. (2016)
2,492 (2010) 2,556 (2000) 2,576 (1990)

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Stanton Hotels
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.

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.

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
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, June 2006
Martin County Courthouse
Stanton, TX - Old Martin County Jail
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
Martin County Jail
Stanton TX - Sisters of Mercy Convent
Carmelite Monastery, later Sisters of Mercy Convent
400 E Carpenter St, Stanton TX
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
convent in Stanton, Texas
convent Stanton Texas
The Convent in 2000, front & back view
Photo courtesy Jason Penney
Stanton Tx - Convent and Historicl Markers
Carmelite Monastery (later Sisters of Mercy Convent) & Historicl Markers
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
Stanton TX - Carmelite Monastery Historical Marker
Carmelite Monastery Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
Historical Marker:

Carmelite Monastery

In 1882, six German friars from St. Boniface monastery in Scipio, Kansas, founded a new Carmelite monastery at Grelton Station, halfway between Fort Worth and El Paso on the Texas & Pacific Railroad. They renamed the station Marienfeld and established a German Catholic colony.

Under the leadership of Anastasius Peters, the Carmelites attracted immigrant farmers to the area, some of whom joined the religious order. In 1884, this building was constructed to serve as the living quarters for the friars; it was expanded in 1886. From here they journeyed all over west Texas and eastern New Mexico, ministering to the Catholic families in communities along the rail lines and starting new Catholic parishes. Their work in Marienfeld had a direct impact on the town's development and on the formal organization of Martin County in 1884.

In 1888, the Marienfeld Carmelites numbered 34, but severe drought during that period resulted in an economic depression that led to faltering support for the friars and the colony. By 1891, only five friars remained, and they left in 1901. In 1897, the Carmelites sold the monastery building to the Sisters of Mercy, who developed an academy on the site in 1898 and used this building for their living quarters and chapel. Soon after a 1938 tornado swept through the complex, the Sisters of Mercy withdrew, and the property was sold.

Built of adobe in the Gothic Revival style, the monastery features four-foot thick walls, a stone foundation, Gothic pointed-arch windows and a wrapround porch. It is the only building remaining from the Carmelite occupation of the site.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2000
Stanton Tx - Site of St. Joseph's Church Historical Marker
St. Joseph's Church Historical Marker
301 E Carpenter St
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
More Texas Churches
Historical Marker:

Site of St. Joseph's Church

With the purpose of founding a monastery and a German Catholic colony, Carmelite Monks, in 1881, began the first Catholic church between Fort Worth and El Paso. The adobe and brick monastery was completed in 1884, and St. Joseph's Church in 1885. Sisters of Divine Providence opened a short-lived school, 1887; reopened, 1894, by Sisters of Mercy. In 1897, Carmelite Monks disbanded and sold property to Sisters of Mercy, who operated a convent and academy until abandonment after tornado of June 11, 1938. All that remains are a dormitory, ruins of other buildings, and the cemetery.
(1973)
Connell House
410 Convent St
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
Stanton TX - Connell House Historical Marker
Connell House Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
Historical Marker:

Connell House

Constructed in 1882 as a two-room home for Carmelite Priests, this was the first building in Stanton. Dennis and Mary (Stoeger) Connell made their home here after their marriage in 1902. Mary bore eight children in the house, which grew with the family. By 1915 the house had five rooms, with more additions made in the 1920s and 1930s. The simple home features a distinctive west gable, weatherboard siding, a front porch with shed room and turned-wood posts, and double primary entry doors. Upon the death of the last Connell daughter in 1990 the house was transferred to the local historical museum.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1997
Stanton TX - Connell House
Connell House
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
More Texas Historic Homes
Stanton TX - Connell House windmill
Connell House windmill
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
More Texas Windmills
TX - Martin County Senior Center - Former T & P Depot
Martin County Senior Center, former T & P Depot
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
More Texas Depots
Stanton TX - Texas Theatre
Texas Theatre
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
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Stanton TX - Texas Theatre  neon
Texas Theatre old neon
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
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Stanton TX -VFW Post 429
Stanton VFW Post 429
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
Stanton TX -VFW Post 429
VFW Post 429
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
Stanton Tx - Cowboy Wall Mural
Cowboy Mural
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
More Texas Murals
Stanton Tx - Closed church
A closed church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
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Stanton Tx - Ford Tractor sign
Ford Tractor sign
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
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Stanton Tx - Water Tower
Stanton Water Tower
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
More Texas Water Towers
Stanton Tx - Courthouse Snow Man
Courthouse Snow Man
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
Stanton Texas convent historical marker
cross in Stanton Texas cemetery
L - The convent & historical marker
R - The Catholic Cemetery

Photo courtesy Jason Penney, 2000

Stanton, Texas Chronicles
  • The 1939 Martin County Explosion by Mike Cox

  • 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.

  • Marienfeld

  • Take a road trip
    Stanton, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Midland | Big Spring
    See Martin County | Texas Panhandle | West Texas

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