county was named after Dr. Junius Mottley (2 Ts) a signer of the Texas
Declaration of Independence who was killed at San
in a Pecan Shell
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
Ranch cowboys enjoying a catered meal
Photo courtesy Paul Cloyd
Attractions and Landmarks
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
More Texas Museums
Recorded Texas Historical Landmark
National Register of Historic Places
927 Lariat Street, Matador, Texas
Hall and water tower
Photo courtesy Terry
Jeanson, September 2007
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
Photo courtesy Wes Reeves, 2007
A Family Story
William Thomas "Billy" Cloyd
Sheriff of Motley County
November 1896 to November 1900
Courtesy Paul Cloyd
great grandfather William Thomas “Billy” Cloyd was sheriff of Matador,
Texas and also worked on the Matador
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
Floyd Mary Cloyd died March 16, 1902.
His second wife was Ava Martin, from Motley Co., and they were married
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
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
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
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