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Motley County TX
Motley County
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MATADOR, TEXAS

Motley County Seat, Texas Panhandle

34°0'50"N 100°49'18"W (34.013996, -100.821646)
State Hwy 70
U.S. Hwys 62/70
32 miles W of Paducah
31 miles E of Floydada
58 miles SE of Plainview
80 miles NE of Lubbock
Population: 589 Est. (2016)
607 (2010) 740 (2000) 790 (1990)

Matador, Texas Area Hotels > Lubbock Hotels | Plainview Hotels
TX - Motley County welcome sign
Welcome to Motley County
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
Motley County was named after Dr. Junius Mottley (2 Ts) a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence who was killed at San Jacinto.

Matador History in a Pecan Shell

1879: Matador Ranch founded
1886: Post Office opened under the name Matador
1891: Ranch Manager sponsored cowboys to set up businesses (for one day) to insure compliance with the General Land Office's requirement that county seats have 20 registered businesses.
1893: The county voted for prohibition
1894: Courthouse burns and Sheriff Joe Beckman (a former Matador Ranch cowboy) turns up missing
1896: Townspeople upset at Matador Ranch's domination vote out civic leaders that are ranch puppets
1900: The resourceful anti-ranch faction moves in 40 families from Erath County to vote for town interests
1912: Matador is incorporated
1913: The Motley County Railroad appears
1940: The population reaches its high water mark of 1,302
Matador Ranch cowboys, Matador, Texas
Matador Ranch cowboys enjoying a catered meal
Photo courtesy Paul Cloyd

Matador Attractions and Landmarks

Matador TX - Motley County Courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2007
Motley County Courthouse >
Matador TX 1891 Limestone Motley County Jail
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2007
Motley County Jail >
Matador TX - Motley County Museum
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
The Motley County Historical Museum
Early ranch and farm life, and the history of the Matador Land and Cattle Co.
Housed in the Traweek Hospital Building at Dunee and Bundy Streets. 806-347-2651
More Texas Museums
Matador TX mural - Matador Ranch
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
Matador Murals >
Matador TX - Bank Building
Matador's First State Bank
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
Matador TX - Bank Building

Former Bank Building
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
More Texas Banks

Matador TX - Hotel Matador
Hotel Matador
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
Matador TX - Feed Store
Closed Feed Store
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
Matador TX - East Mound Cemetery
East Mound Cemetery
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
Matador TX - East Mound Cemetery
East Mound Cemetery
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
More Texas Cemeteries
Matador TX - Closed gin
Closed gin
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
More Texas Cotton Gins
Matador TX - Motley County Tribune
Motley County Tribune
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
Matador  Tx - Odd Fellows Building
Odd Fellows Building
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
More Texas Lodges
Matador Tx - Traweek House
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
Traweek House >
Recorded Texas Historical Landmark
National Register of Historic Places

927 Lariat Street, Matador, Texas
Matador TX Mural Courthouse Square
Mural on the side of a building on the Courthouse square.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2007
Matador Murals >
Matador Tx - Tin Man water tower

Matador water tower
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
More Texas Water Towers

Matador TX City Hall Water Tower
Matador City Hall and water tower
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2007
Derrick atop Bob's Oil Well station in Matador, Texas
Derrick atop Bob's Oil Derrick Service Station in Matador
Photo courtesy Wes Reeves, 2007
Matador TX - 1930s Bob's Oil Well Gas Station
1930s Bob's Oil Well Gas Station
Jimmy Dobson Photo, June 2017
Adventures with my 1972 Plymouth Cuda and
my 67 Ford Mustang Fastback

by Jimmy Dobson
MatadorT x - Bobs Oil Conoco Sign
Conoco Sign
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
More Texas Gas Stations
Matador TX Abandoned Motel
Abandoned motel
Jimmy Dobson Photo, June 2017
More Rooms with a Past

Matador's Endangered Buildings

Matador has several buildings on the Historic Commission's Endangered Buildings List.
  • Bob's Oil Derrick Service Station c. 1940
  • The Traweek Hospital Building c. 1928
  • Matador Hardware and Supply c. 1916
  • The First National Bank Building date unk.
  • Spot Grocery Downtown Matador Texas
    "Downtown Matador showing an abandoned grocery store, completely open to the elements. Locals pass by without so much as a second glance." - Wes Reeves, 2007 photo
    Matador Texas Spot Grocery interior
    Spot Grocery Interior
    Photo courtesy Wes Reeves, 2007

    Motley County History
    A Family Story
    Motley County Sheriff William Thomas Billy Cloyd


    William Thomas "Billy" Cloyd

    Sheriff of Motley County
    November 1896 to November 1900
    Photo Courtesy Paul Cloyd
    "My great grandfather William Thomas “Billy” Cloyd was sheriff of Matador, Texas and also worked on the Matador Ranch.

    His first wife was Floyd Mary Nelson, from Floydada, and they were married Dec. 24,1891. They had five children: Willie Gertrude, Sam Bedford, (my grandfather), Hattie M., Annabelle, and Chester.

    Floyd Mary Cloyd died March 16, 1902.

    His second wife was Ava Martin, from Motley Co., and they were married July 30,1903.

    William Cloyd died six months later in January, 1904.

    William Cloyd was a Mason and his last wish was that his children be placed in the Masonic Orphanage in Fort Worth.

    Thomas, Floyd and Ava are in the Matador cemetery side by side.

    I have been to the grave sites and also been through the old jail where they lived. The living quarters were downstairs and the jail was upstairs. My grandfather had told me about living in the jail when he was a little boy and watching his dad hang men from a trap door in the ceiling. Sure enough, when I visited the jail there was the trap door."
    - Paul Cloyd, August 15, 2004

    Matador Texas Forum
  • Subject: Motley County Jail
    All the stories I heard as a boy growing up in Matador had it that no one was actually ever hanged in the Jail. It is true that the trap door is there. - Earle Price, May 22, 2005

  • Motley County Tx - Tee Pee City Historical Markers
    Ghost town Tee Pee City markers
    on roadside park 10 miles east of Matador

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009

    Take a road trip

    Matador, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Paducah | Floydada | Plainview | Lubbock
    See Motley County | Texas Panhandle

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