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    BOOKER, TEXAS

    Formerly known as La Kemp, Oklahoma

    Lipscomb County, Texas Panhandle
    State highways 15 and 23
    3 mile S of the Oklahoma State Line
    16 Miles E of Perryton
    15 Miles W of Darrouzett

    Population: 1,315 (2000) 1,236 (1990)

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    Booker Tx grain elevators
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
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    History in a Pcan Shell

    Borders don't mean much to Booker. Having crossed a state line - Booker's population is now flowing over the Lipscomb county line into Ochiltree County.

    La Kemp was formed about the time of Oklahoma statehood - 1909. Ten years later when the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway built from Shattuck, Oklahoma, to Spearman, Texas - the entire town moved seven miles across the state line. Few people outside of the counties involved noticed. One has to assume that the post office people in Washington had to be let in on this move.

    The town was platted shortly before the move in 1917 by Thomas C. Spearman who had Spearman, Texas named after him. The town was named for railroad engineer B. F. Booker. Booker was a civil engineer - not the man who drove the train.

    An early aerial view of the town shows a simple heart shape - the main road running down through the center of town and then splitting at the top with both roads curving back to the bottom.

    The population was 600 in 1920 and the town's infrastructure was finished just before the Great Depression. 386 people called Booker home in 1940.

    In 1949 oil exploration helped boost the economy to 1,500 - and oil and gas has helped keep the population at about that level.

    Heart Cemetery

    "My family has lived in the area around Booker since the early 1900s. I am actually the fourth generation to graduated from Booker High School. Booker has always been in the shape of a square while the cemetery has been in the shape of a heart and is named Heart Cemetery. The cemetery was recently put on the historical registry of Texas." - Vanessa Harper, Booker, Texas , February 11, 2008
    Booker, Texas
    by Mike Cox
    Mike Cox

    ...Texas’ northern-most community, Booker lies only three miles south of the Texas-Oklahoma border at the top of the Panhandle, but that’s seven miles farther south than it used to be when it was in Beaver County, Oklahoma. The change of address had nothing to do with its residents wanting to be Texans, however. They just wanted to live somewhere with a more promising future, no matter the location of their capital. And back then, a town’s prosperity had a lot to do with whether it enjoyed railroad service.... more

    Booker Tx - "Next 9 Exits" Sign
    "It's good to know that some folks have a sense of humor about living in a small town." - Stephen Taylor. Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
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    Booker Tx - Caboose Display
    Welcome Caboose
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
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    Closed garage
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
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    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
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    Booker Tx - Tin Man Water Tower
    Water Tower
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
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    Lipscomb County Texas 1920s map
    1920s Lipscomb County map showing Booker
    (Near Ochiltree County line, above "L" in "L-I-P-S-C-O-M-B")
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    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 of their town, please contact us.

    Booker, Texas
    Area Destinations:

    Perryton
    Darrouzett

    Lipscomb
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