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CLYDE, TEXAS

Callahan County, Texas Panhandle / West Texas

Interstate Highway 20 and FM 604
8 miles East of Abilene
5 miles West of Baird
Population: 3,733 (2010) 3,345 (2000) 3,022 (1990)

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Clyde TX Downtown
Downtown Clyde
Photo courtesy Mike Price, March 2008
History in a Pecan Shell

Clyde's beginning was naturally tied to Baird's since Clyde was the next stop on the Texas and Pacific Railroad. It's said that the name came from Robert Clyde's camp for the railroad workers, established in 1880. Enough people stayed after the railroad moved on - and in 1881 they got a post office.

Some of Clyde's first residents were a colony of Portuguese, who didn't stay long. They may have realized how far from the sea they were and moved on. Another group of Irish families transmigrated from Pennsylvania.

The Bankhead Highway - the first transcontinental road across the U.S. - included Clyde on it's route and Clyde also was gaining a reputation for fruits and vegetables. It was publicized as being "The California of Texas." Clyde has been blessed with abundant underground water, but droughts in 1886-87, 1930-36, 1949 to 57, and 1983-85 have reduced the once-popular slogan to a historical footnote.

Clyde has had a string of bad luck with tornadoes. (Has anyone had good luck with them?) The first occurred in 1895 and destroyed the Catholic Church. In 1938 the school was destroyed along with other buildings. Fourteen people were killed. Another occurred in 1950 and took the lives of five more of Clydes citizens. The most recent was in 1989.

Clyde Chronicles

The California of Texas by Mike Cox

The Callahan County community got its name from one Robert Clyde, a railroad construction crew foreman who operated a commissary in the vicinity when the Texas and Pacific laid tracks through that part of West Texas in December 1880. A year later, enough folks had settled in the area to support a post office that Washington approved designating as Clyde. Though historical sketches of Clyde the town offer nothing more about Clyde the man, he must have been a likable enough sort to be honored in such a way. Or maybe early residents lacked imagination.

Someone representing Clyde's second generation did a little better in the 1920s when civic boosters painted "The California of Texas" on the town's water tower. That tank held H2O drawn from a sizable aquifer beneath the town, enough to sustain the kind of agricultural produce that came from the Golden State. Alas, Clyde's nickname faded along with the paint and the abundance of water.

One thing Clyde ought to be remembered for is a tale from the early 1900s about an area farmer and his prized jack, a long-eared, four-footed Casanova with quite a reputation. Local farmer-rancher-businessman John Berry, who late in life wrote a little book about Clyde and some of its colorful characters and notable events, told the story in his "The Hills of Home." ... more

Clyde TX First United Methodist Church
The First United Methodist Church in Clyde
Photo courtesy Mike Price, March 2008
More Texas Churches
Clyde TX highway 180 old gas station
"There are 6-8 old gas stations along highway 18. My best guess is that at some time it was highway 80. It would have been more than 50 years ago. Clyde could not have supported that many stations as I'd guess 75% of it's population growth has come in the last 30 years." - Mike Price, March 2008
More Texas Gas Stations
Clyde TX highway 180 old gas station
Clyde TX highway 180 old gas station
Photo courtesy Mike Price, March 2008
More Texas Gas Stations
Clyde TX
"The rundown building on Interstate 20. In the late 50's there was a sign labeling it as a Uranium Sitting House, if you can believe it." - Mike Price, March 2008
Area Recreation

Lake Clyde -
5 miles south of Clyde.
On the headwaters of the Pecan Bayou.
www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fish/infish/lakes/clyde/lake_id.htm

More Clyde Images:

Photos courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp
Clyde TX street scene
Street scene
Clyde TX storm cellar
Storm cellar
Clyde TX Catholic Cemetery
Catholic Cemetery
Clyde TX cattle guard
Cattleguard
Clyde Texas feed store
Clyde's feed store
Clyde local and tourist information:

Clyde Chamber of Commerce: 915-893-4221
PO Box 257 Clyde TX 79510

Clyde Economic Development Corporation: 915-893-0058
PO Box 257 Clyde TX 79510

Clyde City Hall: 915-893-4234
222 Oak Street Clyde, TX 79510
www.clydecityhall.com/

Clyde, Texas Area Towns:
Abilene | Baird
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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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