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Wichita County TX
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SUNSHINE HILL, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Wichita County, Texas Panhandle / Central Texas North

Farm Road 1739
5 miles NE of Electra
33 miles W of Wichita Falls
Population: Unknown

Book Area Hotels › Wichita Falls Hotels
Sunshine Hill TX sunset view
Sunshine Hill at sunset
Photo courtesy Dustin Martin, September 2017

History in a Pecan Shell

Named after a topographic feature (1,208 feet above sea level). The school at Sunshine Hill (established in 1889) was consolidated with the Electra District in 1947.

The town experienced a minor boom in the 1920s but quickly reverted back to a peaceful village. In 1936 the Wichita County map showed a dispersed community and today the Handbook of Texas reports that major structures had disappered from Sunshine Hill by the 1980s.

Our thanks to Gaylon White of Wichita Falls who suggested a town page for Sunshine Hill. He wrote:

"This western part of Wichita County is a mix of oil fields and prairie dogs. Several prairie dog towns can be seen in this area. I have roamed this region all of my life and like the sparsly settled country. It is also Waggoner Ranch Country and Sunshine Hill is reportedly the highest elevation in Wichita County."
Sunshine Hill TX sunset view
Photo courtesy Dustin Martin, September 2017
Texas - Sunshine Hill Schoolhouse
Sunshine Hill Schoolhouse
Photo courtesy Keith Vaughn, March 20, 2011

Sunshine Hill Schoolhouse:

Photographer's Note:
"Sunshine Hill, TX fell victim to a grassfire on March 22, 2011.

I visited the site of the Sunshine School building, a few miles NE of Electra, Texas, on March 20th, and took the attached photos...When I heard that the fire had destroyed the structure, I was saddened, and went back to the school to see if it was true. It was.

Here are both before and after pictures, only 2 days from the other... A part of North Texas history is gone." - Keith Vaughn, Wichita Falls, March 26, 2011
Texas - Sunshine Hill Schoolhouse burned
Sunshine Hill Schoolhouse burned
Photo courtesy Keith Vaughn, March 22, 2011
More Texas Schoolhouses
Texas - Sunshine Hill School
Sunshine Hill School - Before the fire
Photo courtesy Keith Vaughn, March 20, 2011
Texas - Sunshine Hill School
Photo courtesy Keith Vaughn, March 20, 2011
Texas - Sunshine Hill Schoolhouse burned
After the fire
Photo courtesy Keith Vaughn, March 22, 2011
Vintage Photos
1920 Hester family photo
"L to R Rear, my mother, Winnie Jeanne Hester, unknown lady, Evaline McNeill" "L to R Front, Frances Ione Hester, Mary Frances Martin McNeill (sitting) holding John Cornelius (J.C.) Hester, unknown, and unknown" - Kay T. White
W. J. Hester , Sunshine Hill, Texas in 1920
W.J. Hester
Photo circa 1920 courtesy Kay T. White

Sunshine Hill, Texas Forum

Subject: Old photos & life in oil boom days
My mother is no longer living, and I cannot confirm the location of either of these photographs or even of all of the people in them. My sister, Paula Ruder, and I are guessing on the dates and on the locations. Either photograph could have been taken anywhere, as there is nothing that would identify a location in or around Sunshine Hill. We think the year could have been 1920 to 1923 on either of them.

My grandfather, William Reed Hester, married Gertrude Smoot of Gail, Texas, and they had three children: W.J. Hester, Winnie Jeanne (my mother), and Pauline. Gertrude died in the 1918 flu epidemic. He married Evaline McNeill from Henrietta. They had five children, two of whom were born in Sunshine Hill, Frances Ione and John Cornelius. Frances Ione was named after Evaís mother Mary Frances Martin McNeill. I (Kay Frances Taylor White) was named after my Aunt Ione.

I donít know a lot about my grandfather, except that he was a mule skinner, and seemed to follow the oil boom, and particularly the North Texas oil boom. My mother did tell us a few things about living in Burkburnette, Sunshine Hill, and Electra. My Uncle Roy Hester told me that he remembers his dad working for Magnolia at one time. My Uncle Roy remembered a job that his dad had in Crane putting in a road and hauling sand in a fresno (if I understood the word correctly) pulled by mules. My mother used to tell us that my grandfather was a very skilled mule skinner and was in much demand, and my Uncle Roy confirms that. My Uncle Roy told me that my grandfather and Uncle W.J. Hester owned a team of mules when they lived in Wink in 1935, but they sold the mules to the Younger Brothers before they became truckers. - Yours truly, Kay T. White, May 06, 2005

Subject: Sunshine Hill
My Aunt Euna and Uncle Walter Beck lived at Sunshine Hill when he worked for Mr. Witcher who was in the oil business. My two sisters went to school at the one room school house that was behind my Aunt's house. My family lived somewhere in Sunshine Hill but I was too young to remember where.

We visited the site about 12 years ago and the school house was still there but I don't know about the house my Aunt and Uncle lived in. We spent many wonderful days there and have so many good memories. My sisters and I graduated from Iowa Park High School. My oldest in 1950, the second on 1953 and I in 1954.

Thank you for the information I was able to get from your magazine. - Sincerely, Beverly Talley Jackson, August 21, 2010
Wichita County Texas 1940
1940s Wichita County map showing Electra
NW of Wichita Falls
Sunshine Hill, 5 miles NE of Electra, is not on the map.

Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Take a road trip

Sunshine Hill, Texas Nearby Towns:
Wichita Falls the county seat
Electra | Burkburnett
See Wichita County
Texas Panhandle | Central Texas North

Book Hotel Here:
Wichita Falls 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.

 


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