in a Pecan Shell|
The usual definition of Zephyr is a soft, gentle wind. The Blue Norther that
pinned down the original surveying party here in 1850 was far from a summer breeze.
But surveyors have been known to be a little on the sarcastic side, so they called
the place Zephyr and when time came (1879) to apply for a post office, the townsfolk
couldn't think of anything else.
When the railroad extended their line
from Brownwood to Lampasas,
the Zephyrites moved the grocery and post office the mile or so to the tracks.
People had long since stopped laughing at the irony of the name when a tornado
destroyed most of the town in 1909, leaving 20 people dead.
a farming and ranching community, Zephyr was once dependent on cotton
until the boll weevil
came to town. Our visit in June of 2000 showed several new businesses in this
tidy little place.
Community Center in Zephyr, Texas. It was once the Presbyterian Church. Historical
Marker in front of building.
Photo courtesy historictexas.net
Zephyr Public School Building|
Photo courtesy THC
Hotel Here > Brownwood
Dear TE, I thought you might enjoy this story.
My grandmother who is now deceased,
passed through Zephyr the afternoon of the tornado. The family consisted of her,
her mother and father, and her three siblings. They were all in a covered wagon
traveling to Lampasas. She was 13 years old. They had stopped at an old abandoned
rock building to stay the night in Zephyr, but her mother (who was 1/2 Cherokee
Indian) felt uneasy staying there with clouds building up, so they went on toward
Lampasas, and camped out about 5 miles further down the road. The old building
was leveled that night of the storm. If they would have stayed there that night,
they would probably have all been killed. - Sincerely, Tommy Eaton, MarbleFalls,
December 20, 2006
Zephyr's 1909 Tornado
My great-grandparents, Annie Ola Gibbs Cloys and Millard Fillmore Cloys were in
the 1909 cyclone that hit Zephyr. As a child, my grandmother (their daughter)
had told me the story of how her father had come home from a town meeting, and
as he sat down to take off his shoes, the cyclone hit. The baby, Gibbs Cloys,
age 2, was killed in the cyclone, and is buried in Zephyr Cemetery. My great-grandfather
was seriously injured, and the family left there and came to Trinity where they
had family, and where I now live. He died a few days after they got here, and
is buried with the rest of our family here in Trinity. After I became an adult,
my husband and I went to Zephyr, and I took pictures and did a rubbing on Gibbs
Cloys' gravestone. It made the story real that my grandmother had told me so long
ago. I would like to visit Zephyr again and learn more about its history. - Kaye
Thornton Henry, Trinity, Texas, October 14, 2006
TE, Thanks for providing pics of the town buildings and the bit of history on
Zephyr, TX. My husband's gt. grnadmother was born there 19 May 1893 and named
Ell Vance Cotten, dau. of W.B. Cotten. She married Percy Eugene Bawcom 24 Dec.
1911 in Rising Star, - my
next town to look-up! Ell died 26 Jul. 1923 in Wichita Falls, TX. from heart problems
& is buried in Rose Mount Cemetery. Such a short life, wasn't it? I copied your
article on Zephyr to add to my family history notebook. Thanks so much for placing
this article for all to see on your website. - Sonja Dodge Pampa, Texas, July
Iron Bridge Picnics of Zephyr
My name is Shelly Smith. I'm from the little
town of Zephyr. I graduated from Zephyr High School in 2005. I would like to say
most everything you have on zephyr is correct. there is one place you forgot to
mention. This place is called Iron Bridge Road as my great grandma (Zephyr grad
1929, still alive) has said that the iron bridge has been a place of history that
is where they used to go and have picnics. Next time you're in Zephyr, the Iron
Bridge would be a good place to take some pictures, that is where the Class of
2005 took their senior class picture. I just thought you would be interested in
this place. - Shelly Smith, March 02, 2006
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic,
endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local
history, stories, and/or vintage/historic photos, please contact