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COLORADO CITY, TEXAS

"Mother City of West Texas"

Mitchell County Seat, Texas Panhandle / West Texas

3223'46"N 10051'44"W (32.396163, -100.862137)

I-20 and Hwys 208 and 163
On the Colorado River
63 miles W of Abilene
38 miles E of Big Spring
Population: 4,001 Est. (2016)
4,146 (2010) 4,281 (2000) 4,749 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Colorado City Hotels

Colorado City TX - View Of Town Colorado River
View Of Town and River, Colorado, Texas
Click on image to enlarge

Courtesy Dan Whatley Collection
Colorado City Old Photos

History in a Pecan Shell

Colorado City is the oldest established town between Weatherford and El Paso. The name comes from it's location on the Colorado River.
1880s: The Texas & Pacific Railroad arrives, the town becomes the county seat and gets a post office - all in 1881. "Pete" Snyder, namesake of the Scurry County seat does a brisk business in Colorado City. Throughout the 1880s Colorado City was a prosperous town - but it lost business to Abilene and San Angelo when the railroad reached those cities in 1887/88.
1890s: Salt mining was an economic factor
1900s: This decade brought a surge of settlers - increasing the population and creating a boom.
1910s: Electricity and water come to Colorado City and a setback from drought is experienced 1916 - 1918
1920s: The twenties were good everywhere and Colorado City was no exception. City Hall was built and streets paved
1930s: Oil discoveries in Mitchell and neighboring counties help ease The Great Depression - but for the most part the growth was stagnant
1959: Lake Colorado City and Champion Creek Reservoir were built

Texas - Colorado City Historical Marker
"The Founding of Colorado City" Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson

The Founding of Colorado City

Founded, 1880, at the crossing of the Colorado River and Texas & Pacific Railroad right-of-way; central shipping point and supply depot for the sprawling cattle ranches of West Texas and New Mexico.

From 1880 (when A.W. Dunn opened his dirt-floor, tent-roof general store) to 1890 the boisterous cattle town garnered notoriety as well as fame.

The largest community between Fort Worth and El Paso, Colorado City had more millionaires than any other Texas town and the most saloons in the West. Law and order was housed in a dugout at the edge of town, where a company of Texas Rangers made all men check their guns. Modest, courageous Ranger Dick Ware was elected first sheriff in 1881.

Population soared from 700 to 5,000 in the first two years, as cowboys, cattlemen, merchants, and (as a visitor said) "any number of bummers", vied for space.

The first sermon was preached in a saloon and the town "jail" was a chain attached to a mesquite tree, but citizens could find beauty in the lantern-glow from dozens of tents in the center of town.

Although drouth and the passing of the open range soon diminished Colorado City's glory, its first decade won for it the epithet, "Mother City of West Texas".
1968

 Colorado City, Texas - State Ranger's Camp
State Ranger's Camp, Colorado City
Courtesy Dan Whatley Collection


Colorado City Chronicles
The Horse Thief's Prayer by Mike Cox


Colorado City, Texas
Attractions / Landmarks

Colorado City, Texas - Mitchell County courthouse old photo
Mitchell County Courthouse

  • The Heart of West Texas Museum:
    Third Street and Locust St. Closed Mondays

  • Lake Colorado City State Park: 915/728-3931
    7 miles southwest of town off Highway 163
    4582 FM 2836 Colorado City TX 79512

  • Champion Creek Reservoir
    Texas 208, seven miles south of Colorado City on Champion Creek

    Book Hotel Here ›
    Colorado City Hotels

  • Colorado City Tx Methodist Church
    Colorado City Methodist Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2007

    All Saints Episcopal Church , Colorado  City, Texas
    All Saints Episcopal Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2005
    More Texas Churches

    Coca Cola sign, Colarado City, Texas
    Coca Cola sign in Colorado City
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2005

    Colorado City Texas water towers
    Colorado City water towers
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2007
    More Texas Water Towers

    Baker Hotel sign,  Colorado City Texas
    Baker Hotel sign
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2007

    Baker Hotel, Colorado City Texas
    The closed Baker Hotel in Colorado City
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2007
    More Rooms with a Past

    Colorado City TX - Goodyear Ghost Sign
    Colorado City Goodyear Ghost Sign
    Adventures with my 1972 Plymouth Cuda
    and 67 Ford Mustang Fastback

    by Jimmy Dobson

    More Texas Ghost Signs


    Colorado City, Texas
    Old Photos

    Colorado City Texas - View of Seven Wells
    View of Seven Wells, Colorado, Texas
    Click on image to enlarge

    Courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

    Colorado City TX - Colorado River
    Colorado River, Colorado, Texas
    Courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

    Colorado City TX - Colorado River High Water Mark
    "High Water Mark", Colorado, Texas
    Courtesy The Will Beauchamp Collection
    More Texas Bridges

     Colorado City TX - Street Scene
    Street Scene, Colorado City
    Click on image to enlarge

    Courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

    Colorado City Texas - Second Street
    Second Street, Colorado City
    Click on image to enlarge

    Courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

    Colorado City, Texas, Second Street, 1917
    Second Street in 1917
    Courtesy rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/

    T & P depot, Colorado City, Texas
    T & P Depot in Colorado City
    Courtesy rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
    More Texas Depots

     Colorado City, Texas - Studebaker Garage
    Studebaker Garage, Colorado City, Texas
    Courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

    Colorado City TX - Clubhouse, Country Club
    Clubhouse, Country Club, Colorado City
    Courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

    Colorado City TX - 1906 Cotton Scene
    Cotton Scene, Colorado, Texas -
    Total Receipts from Crop of 1906. 40,000 Bales
    Note courthouse in the background
    Click on image to enlarge

    Courtesy Dan Whatley Collection



    Mitchell County Towns

    County Seat - Colorado City
    Book Hotel Here - Colorado City Hotels

    Buford
    Car ghost town
    Colorado City
    Cuthbert ghost town
    Hyman
    Iatan ghost town
    Loraine
    Link ghost town
    Spade ghost town
    Westbrook

    Contiguous Counties:
    Scurry County (N) Nolan County (E)
    Coke County (SE) Sterling County (S)
    Howard County (W) Borden County (NW)


    Colorado City Tourist Information
    Colorado City Chamber of Commerce: 325-728-3403
    157 W. 2nd o P.O. Box 242
    Colorado City, Texas 79512
    http://coloradocitychamberofcommerce.com/

    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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