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Swisher County TX
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Official Slogan: "The Town Without a Frown."
Unofficial Slogan: "We didn't like the movie either."

Swisher County, Texas Panhandle

34 44' 38" N, 101 51' 25" W (34.743889, -101.856944)
Hwy 87 and FM 1075
On the Randall County Line
11 miles NW of Tulia
19 miles S of Canyon
35 miles S of Amarillo
Population: 687 (2010) 647 (2000)

Happy, Texas Area Hotels: Canyon Hotels | Amarillo Hotels
Happy Tx -  Downtown ClosedBuilding
Downtown Happy
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009

History in a Pecan Shell

The name comes from Happy Draw - a watercourse discovered and named by thirsty cowboys. Hugh Currie is credited with establishing the town's post office near Happy Draw in 1891. It was also the site of a stage horse-changing station.

Hopes of a depot were dashed in 1906 when Happy was bypassed (a mere two miles) by the Santa Fe. A town was established alongside the tracks and Plains Lumber and Grain was the first company to open for business.The towns first store was opened by J. F. White and Happy soon had their own paper - appropriately named "Happy News." In 1907 the town was reunited with the post office when it relocated on the new site. The following year the First State Bank of Happy opened its doors.

Happy was incorporated in 1925. Like most of Texas, Happy built it's infrastructure in the 20s. Improvements included the formation of a VFD and new school construction. The Depression years passed without incident, and by 1940 there were 576 residents. The population was about the same (588) in 1990 and it has since increased to 687.

See Happy, Texas Old Photos

Happy, Texas Landmarks

Happy TX - First United Methodist Church
First United Methodist Church
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
Happy TX - First United Methodist Church cornerstone
1929 cornerstone
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
More Texas Cornerstones
Happy TX - First United Methodist Church Historical Marker
First United Methodist Church Historical Marker
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
More Texas Churches
Happy TX - City Drug Store
City Drug Store
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
Happy Texas - Closed Game Room
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
Happy Texas Ghost Ford Sign
Ghost Ford Sign
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
More Texas Ghost Signs
Happy Texas - Grain Elevators
Prairie Skyscrapers
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
More Texas Grain Elevators
Happy Texas water tower
Happy Texas water tower "Cowboys"
Home of the "Happy Cowboys"
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
More Texas Water Towers
Tulia Tx - Restored Happy, Texas Depot
The restored Happy Santa Fe Depot, now in Tulia
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
Tulia Tx - Restored Happy Depot
Happy Santa Fe Depot
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
More Texas Depots

Happy, Texas Vintage Photos

Happy Texas Chevrolet store
Happy Chevrolet Store and gas pump
Photo Courtesy Swisher County Museum
More Texas Gas Stations
"Mose Wesley's Auto Repair Shop was the first brick building in Happy, Texas, built in 1913. The night before the opening, a dance was held in the new building to celebrate the occasion. Mr. Wesley died in 1918, but the business continued with Mr. Emmett LaRoe as shop foreman and Miss Myrtle LaRoe working as bookkeeper. Alden Montgomery moved his automobile sales business into the building and it was called Montgomery Motor Company. For thirty years he sold cars and tractors. After his death, his son Flake took over the business and operated it until his death, at which time the inventory was sold at auction. The Taylor-Evans Farm Store occupied the building through 1967, and ten years later it was rented to Wildore Taylor III for displaying and restoring antique cars." - Andrew Wilson
Main Street, Happy, Texas
"The L. C. Klein Land Co. office located on the south side of Main Street. It was later used as the post office and as William F. Miller's office."
Photo Courtesy Swisher County Museum
Happy  Texas - fire truck
Happy Fire Truck (foreground) and
new City Hall under construction (background).

Photo Courtesy Swisher County Museum
Subject: Happy, TX
My great-great grandparents John Markley St. John and Mary Francis Knox settled near Happy, TX. I'm pretty sure my Great grandfather Olin Bert St. John grew up and went to school in the area. I was recently gifted a box with a bunch of pictures of Olin St. John and others from Happy, TX. [Here's] one photo, front and back, that may be of some interest to local historians. - Cheers, Jennefer White...Olin's daughter's daughter's daughter, June 23, 2015
Happy, TX - old group photo Olin Bert St. John.
Group photo showing Olin Bert St. John.
Click on photo for large image including writing.

Photo Courtesy Jennefer White
Back of above photo
Photo Courtesy Jennefer White
Joe Fortenberry
Native Son

Texas Dunker Joe Fortenberry by Clay Coppedge
Joe Fortenberry, a long, tall Texan from the little Panhandle town of Happy, was a member of the first U.S. men's Olympic basketball team in 1936 and an All-American for West Texas State University in Canyon (now West Texas A&M University) in 1932-33.

That he's a footnote in most modern basketball histories is peculiar because Joe Fortenberry basically revolutionized the game of basketball by giving fans - and reporters - their first glimpse of what we know today as the slam dunk. Because of Joe Fortenberry, they changed the rules of the game. Then the game forgot about him... more

Happy, Texas
Cartoon by Roger T. Moore

Editor's note:
Happy's inclusion in TE was suggested by Andrew Wilson, a 21 year-old actor from San Antonio, Texas who forwarded the three old photos above and provided text. Mr. Wilson wrote:

Dear Texas Escapes,
[Your site] is truly a vault of knowledge that I use quite fequently, however, I beg you, please add HAPPY, TEXAS to your treasure trove of history! - Andrew Wilson, December 30, 2004
Happy, The Movie

Happy, Texas Area Towns:
Tulia | Canyon | Amarillo

See Swisher County | Texas Panhandle

Book Hotel Here:
Canyon Hotels | 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 and recent/vintage/historic photos, please contact us.






















































































































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