TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
 
New   |   Texas Towns   |   Ghost Towns   |   Counties   |   Trips   |   Features   |   Columns   |   Architecture   |   Images   |   Archives   |   Site Map

Reagan  County TX
Reagan County

Texas Towns
A - Z

Big Lake Hotels

More Hotels

TEXON, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Reagan County, West Texas

31 13' 30" N, 101 41' 22" W (31.225, -101.689444)
US 67 and FM 1675
about 13 miles W of Big Lake the county seat
85 miles W of San Angelo
Population: 12 (2000)

Book Area Hotel › Big Lake Hotels
Texon, TX, Reagan County Santa Rita Rig No1
Santa Rita No. 1
More Santa Rita No. 1 photos & Historical Marker

Photo courtesy Dustin Martin, January 2018

Texon is located about 3 /10 mile south of Hwy 67 on FM 1657. Here you'll see a derrick and the well-preserved remains of Santa Rita #1, the well that brought in the huge Big Lake Oilfield. Historical marker provides details.

There are two "ghost towns" in Reagan County. Texon has the greater population. The other is Stiles, with only the ruins of the torched former courthouse (Christmas Eve 1999).

Texon was a planned community that at one time had a population of over 1000. The Big Lake Oil Company was sole owner of the property. Sidewalks, street signs and mailboxes with two or three wooden structures are all that remain. Two homes appear to be occupied and strangely enough, as if anticipating a rebirth, the street signs are new reflective ones, in some cases standing alongside the old wooden ones that they're replacing. The postal service has also installed a new mailbox looking out of place among the five-foot tall weeds.

It's obvious that there is recent activity with the wells. Hoses and wires follow the grid of the former yards where deer and jackrabbits now graze undisturbed and unfrightened by visitors. The abundance of these creatures along with roadrunners, makes Texon a good spot for observing wildlife. Texon is one of the featured ghost towns in T. Lindsay Baker's Ghost Towns of Texas.

Historical Marker:

Town of Texon

Early travelers along many historic trails in this area found the region arid and inhospitable. Given (1876) to the University of Texas, the lands around this marker were leased to cattlemen. The Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railroad built its line here in 1911, but did little local hauling. Development came after Frank Pickrell and Haymon Krupp of Texon Oil and Land Company drilled for oil. Their driller, Carl Cromwell, brought in Santa Rita No. 1, the first gusher in the Permian Basin, on May 28, 1923.

Texon, first company town in the Permian Basin, was founded in 1924 by Big Lake Oil Company. Levi Smith, president of the firm, planned and supervised building of the town, and Ted Williams served as city manager for the company. Texon had stores, shops, a school, a physician, a dentist, a hospital, a theater, a park, a well-known baseball team, and many facilities for recreation. The post office opened in 1926. As many as 2,000 people lived here -- boosters claimed up to 10,000 -- manning the drilling, a gasoline plant, an oil treating plant, and other operations. Plymouth Oil Company absorbed Big Lake Oil Company, then sold out to Marathon Oil Company. The company town was closed in 1962.
1977

Historical Marker:

Santa Rita No. 1

Discovery well for Big Lake oil field. First gusher in Permian Basin; first University of Texas producer. On land once thought almost worthless. Fruit of the faith of Big Lake lawyer Rupert Ricker. Though in 1919 no oil had been found within 100 miles, Ricker got leases on 431,360 acres of University of Texas land in Crockett, Irion, Reagan and Upton counties. Soon working with him were P. G. Stokes, Big Spring; Frank Pickrell and Haymon Krupp, El Paso; and others. Their wildcat well, 1/2 mile south of this site, on Ollie Parker's Ranch, was drilled by Carl Cromwell. Dee Locklin was tool dresser. Slow and hard drilling made crew name well for Santa Rita, Patronness of the Impossible. 4 years, 2 months and a day after permit was filled, and at 3,055 feet, well pressure tossed the rig's bucket high into the air. Santa Rita was a producer, the date was May 28, 1923. This day the Permian Basin, since acclaimed one of the greatest oil regions in the world, had its first big find. Other spectacular fields were to follow. Multi-millions in royalty dollars have since made the University of Texas one of the world's most heavily endowed schools. Original rig that brought in Santa Rita now is on the university campus.
1965
Texon, TX, Reagan County Santa Rita Rig No1
Santa Rita No. 1
Photo courtesy Dustin Martin, January 2018
Texon, TX, Reagan County Santa Rita Rig No1
Santa Rita No. 1
Photo courtesy Dustin Martin, January 2018
Texon, TX, Reagan County Santa Rita Rig No1 Plaque
Santa Rita No. 1 Plaque - The Events
Photo courtesy Dustin Martin, January 2018
Texon, TX, Reagan County Santa Rita Rig No1 Plaque
Santa Rita No. 1 Plaque - The People
Photo courtesy Dustin Martin, January 2018
Texon, Texas - Santa Rita #1
Santa Rita No. 1
Photo courtesy AnnaMarie Adams, April 2011
Texon, Texas - oil well Santa Rita #1

Santa Rita No. 1
TE photo, September 2000


Texon Post Office

1926-1988
A house in Texon Texas
A house in the old residential area
"The front half of the building was the Post Office."

TE photo, September 2000
"In viewing forum, I noticed that the last comment entered was from my father, Ronnie Delz regarding the Texon Post Office and my grandmother. I've recently been going through old photo albums and came across these pictures and wanted to share them. I can definitely relate to the comments and how Texon can have such an impact on you. For me though, it was a completely different experience given the generational gap, but still just as special. If you'll notice the flag flying overhead, many, many times I helped my grandmother take the flag down and that experience is how I learned how to properly fold the US flag! Thank you for letting me share this piece of my family's Texon history." - Tracy Gray, August 20, 2018
Texon TX post office old photo
Photos courtesy Tracy Gray
Texon TX post office old photo
Texon, Reagan County TX  post office into
Texon, Reagan County TX  1958 postmark
Cover canceled with Texon, TX 1958 postmark
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection

More Texas Post Offices


Texon TX - Log cabin
Log cabin in Texon?
Photo courtesy AnnaMarie Adams, April 2011
Texon TX - Log cabin
Photo courtesy AnnaMarie Adams, April 2011
Texon TX - Log cabin interior
Photo courtesy AnnaMarie Adams, April 2011
Texon oil field near Best, Texas
Texon oil field
Click on image to enlarge

Photo courtesy Brian R. Jack
Texon, Texas Forum
  • Subject: Growing up in Texon
    I was born in Texon, Texas in 1942. We lived there until 1957 when we moved to Iraan, Texas. We lived in two separate houses during that time including the old nurses quarters which was behind the hospital (which they moved away) where I was born. The town was a viable village with a cafe, drug store, grocery and dry goods store. The post office during my time was behind the drug store. We even had a beauty and barber shop. Our school went to the sixth grade with two grades in one room taught by the same teacher. After the sixth grade we went to Big Lake, Texas to school on a school bus. Everyone knew everyone and as a child I would wander around the town and every mother watched over for us.

    When they started closing the oil field we were sent out in all directions for our fathers to remain with the oil company. It was very up heaving for me because I was separated from my friends with whom I had grown up and were like family to me. Texon was a really wonderful place to grow up and I believe gave a foundation to the many lives who lived there and knew it as home. - Francine Salyer Zannidachis, January 24, 2017

  • Subject: Texon & Oil field
    I was born Aug. 25 1944 in the company hospital in Texon. We lived there until 1958, my father got transferred to Andrews, TX. I have many good memories when I lived there. I will always remember the smell of the oil field. The old house that became the post office, we lived in for a short period of time in 1957&58. - James Potter, November 29, 2016

  • Subject: Oil field & Texon in the 50s
    I found your web site on Texas ghost towns and read the comments on Texon, Texas. I am 64 years old and back in the '50's I spent time in Texon with my grandparents when I was around 5 or 6 years old! I have a lot of wonderful memories from that time. My grandfather, Charley O. Fowler worked for Marathon Oil Company and their house sat across the road from the oilfield. I remember asking my grandmother one night what the fire across from the house was and she told me it was on one of the wells. I became very accustomed to the smell of the oil! Every year for many years Texon held a "reunion" for residents and former residents of Texon. It was a grand time! My grandparents' house was sold to someone in San Angelo, Texas and placed out at Lake Nasworthy. I miss those good old days. There's nothing there anymore. I wish the town and the oil business there had lasted. I miss it. - Janis Potter, September 20, 2012

  • Subject: Born & raised in Texon
    I was born and raised in Texon. The old building pictured with the mailboxes in front was actually the Post Office for many years. It was owned by my parents and leased by the Postal Service. The front half of the building was the Post Office. My Mother, Bertha Delz, was the postmaster for many years and retired there. - Ronnie Delz, April 03, 2008
  • Reagan County TX 1940s map
    Reagan County 1940s map showing Big Lake, Texon (near Upton County line), ghost towns Best and Stiles
    From Texas state map #4335
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Texon, Texas Area Towns:
    Big Lake the county seat
    Midland | Big Spring | Ozona | San Angelo | Fort Stockton

    See Reagan County | West Texas

    Book Area Hotel:
    Big Lake Hotels
    Midland Hotels | Fort Stockton Hotels | San Angelo Hotels
    More Hotels

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Texas Towns A - Z Texas Regions:
    Gulf Texas Gulf Coast East East Texas North Central Texas North Central Woutn Central Texas South Panhandle Texas Panhandle
    South South Texas Hill Texas Hill Country West West Texas Ghost Texas Ghost Towns counties Texas Counties

    Texas Escapes Online Magazine »   Archive Issues » Home »
    TEXAS TOWNS & COUNTIES TEXAS LANDMARKS & IMAGES TEXAS HISTORY & CULTURE TEXAS OUTDOORS MORE
    Texas Counties
    Texas Towns A-Z
    Texas Ghost Towns

    TEXAS REGIONS:
    Central Texas North
    Central Texas South
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Texas Panhandle
    Texas Hill Country
    East Texas
    South Texas
    West Texas

    Courthouses
    Jails
    Churches
    Schoolhouses
    Bridges
    Theaters
    Depots
    Rooms with a Past
    Monuments
    Statues

    Gas Stations
    Post Offices
    Museums
    Water Towers
    Grain Elevators
    Cotton Gins
    Lodges
    Stores
    Banks

    Vintage Photos
    Historic Trees
    Cemeteries
    Old Neon
    Ghost Signs
    Signs
    Murals
    Gargoyles
    Pitted Dates
    Cornerstones
    Then & Now

    Columns: History/Opinion
    Texas History
    Small Town Sagas
    Black History
    WWII
    Texas Centennial
    Ghosts
    People
    Animals
    Food
    Music
    Art

    Books
    Cotton
    Texas Railroads

    Texas Trips
    Texas Drives
    Texas State Parks
    Texas Rivers
    Texas Lakes
    Texas Forts
    Texas Trails
    Texas Maps
    USA
    MEXICO
    HOTELS

    Site Map
    About Us
    Privacy Statement
    Disclaimer
    Contributors
    Staff
    Contact Us

     
    Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved