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RAMSDELL, TEXAS

Site of first area telephone system with 16 members


by Delbert Trew

Texas Ghost Town
Wheeler County, Texas Panhandle

Located in SW corner of County I-40, Exit 148
Turn South on Dirt Road, Go to Sand Creek Crossing

History in a Pecan Shell

The Rev. Ed R. Wallace, a circuit-riding, Methodist preacher started acquiring State lands with land script while riding his church route. After accumulating twelve sections of land he plotted the town of Ramsdell along Sand Creek by the Rock Island Railroad cattle loading facilities. Surrounded by large ranches, the site was used mostly by the RO Ranch and the Rocking Chair Ranch. Later, a large depot and several railroad warehouses were built to protect railroad supplies.

Products shipped from Ramsdell were car-loads of construction sand from Sand Creek for concrete, watermelons, garden produce, eggs and cream and of course, thousands of head of livestock. The first area community telephone system was established at Ramsdell with 16 members. A large school was built along with some forty to sixty buildings during the heyday of the town. Two hotels and lumber yards were among the main businesses serving the public.

No saloons were allowed by Reverend Wallace but weekly dances were allowed to be held in the depot and on the loading docks. Often on dance nights, the Law had to break up fights between the cowboys and settlers for trains to pass down the track.

Although a cemetery was never established, a fence post marks the graves of a traveling family who contracted typhoid fever and died. Another true story states, "My father ordered a barrel of whiskey and it arrived on a wooden railroad car. Prohibition was declared before it could be removed and the Sheriff padlocked the car. Later, when the car was unlocked to remove the barrel they found it empty. The bottom of the boxcar and the bottom of the barrel had been drilled through with a brace and bit and the whiskey drained into a container below. No one ever admitted to the theft, but everyone knew it was my father and uncles."

Gyp water, a bitter concoction at best, plagued the town of Ramsdell from the start. The consolidation of county schools, Route 66 passing several miles to the north and the breakup of the big ranches sealed the final demise.

Today the site of Ramsdell is obscured by plum thickets and brush. The railroad is gone and only a few foundations can be found, all on private property.



Delbert Trew

Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share Ramsdell history, stories, landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact us.

Wheeler County TX 1940s map
Wheeler County 1940s map showing Ramsdell near Collingsworth County and Donley County line
From Texas state map #4335
Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Take a road trip

Texas Panhandle

Ramsdell, Texas Nearby Towns:
Wheeler the county seat
Shamrock
Lela
McLean
See Wheeler County | Collingsworth County | Donley County

Book Hotel Here:
Amarillo Hotels | More Hotels


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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