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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Texas Panhandle :

PLAINS, TEXAS

Yoakum County Seat, Texas Panhandle
US 82 / 380 and State Hwy 214
36 miles N of Seminole
99 miles N of Odessa
32 miles W of Brownfield
71 miles SW of Lubbock
13 miles E of the New Mexico State Line

Population 1,450 (2000) 1,422(1990)

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Plains Texas welcome sign
Plains welcome sign

Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, August 2005
History in a Pecan Shell

Originally settled by a family named Miller, it wasn't until 1905 when W. J. Luna moved his family to what is now Plains.

Mr. Luna was the founder of the town and took responsibility for naming it. He donated land for both the Yoakum County Cemetery and the Plains City Cemetery. Mary Luna, W.J.'s wife was the first interment. In 1906 Luna established a store and applied for a post office which was soon granted.

With the organization of Yoakum County in 1907, Plains was the overwhelming choice for county seat.
Yoakum County Courthouse - next page
A newspaper with the no-nonsense name of Yoakum County News appeared in 1910 and twenty one years later a second newspaper arrived. Mrs. Dovie Moreland was the editor publisher of the Yoakum County Review. The paper later merged with the Plains Record in the early 1960s.

Mrs. Marion McGinty and other bibliophiles collected a mobile "bookshelf" for the citizens - moving the location to various homes to insure circulation. The was the germ that evolved into a county library system.

Although the Sulphur Springs are now pumped dry, the creek which they fed has been turned into a public park.

Without a railroad, Plains was operating at a disadvantage, but when oil was discovered in the mid 930s, it insured the town's survival.

From a meager population of 150 in the late 1930s, Plains tripled its population in less than ten years. By 1980 it was around 1,500 - a figure that the town seems comfortable with.

A historical oddity in town is a 1903 "bonus shack" now operating as a museum. Early settlers used similar buildings to establish their claim to the land.
Pumpjack in Plains, Texas
Pumpjack

Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, August 2005
Plains High School, Texas
Plains High School

Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, August 2005
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Plains, Texas Watermelon Round-Up, Labor Day celebration
Watermelon Round-Up - Labor Day celebration, all the free melon you can eat.

Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, August 2005
Plains, Texas WWII marker
WWII marker in Plains

Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, August 2005
Plains, Texas  water tower
Plains' old water tower

Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, August 2005
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