TexasEscapes.comTexas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1800 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP : : SEARCH SITE
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
Canyon Hotels
Find Hotel Deals in Canyon

Book Today and Save
 
 Texas : Towns A-Z / Panhandle :

UMBARGER, TEXAS

Randall County, Texas Panhandle
Highway 60
10 Miles SW of Canyon
26 Miles SW of Amarillo
22 Miles NE of Hereford
Population: 327 (1990)

Visiting Umbarger? Book Your Hotel Here & Save:
Canyon Hotels | Hereford Hotels | Amarillo Hotels

Umbarger Texas highway sign
Entering Umbarger, Texas
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
History in a Pecan Shell

The town got its start in the mid 1890s when rancher S. G. Umbarger leased land here from the railroad (the Houston and Great Northern). He liked it so much he bought it two years later and opened several business to cater to freshly arrived settlers.

The Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway established a switch near Umbarger’s ranch in 1898. Umbarger (the man) sold out and moved away to Canyon, Texas, but since that was a mere 10 miles away, his name remained solidly in place.

In 1902 a small group of German Catholics transmigrated from Fayette County, adding much-needed growth. A general store/ post office opened and a school district was established in 1904.

Between 1902 and 1910 Father Joseph Reisdorff, a Catholic missionary, worked hard to attract other German Catholic settlers. Friction developed between Father Reisdorff and John Hutson, another town founder and as a result, the town had two separate Catholic churches built. The population was bolstered somewhat by Swiss immigrants who settled here from 1911 through the 1920s but the town remained under-populated. From 18 residents in 1920, and only 80 by 1930, it reached 150 on the eve of WWII.

The town's proximity to Canyon and Amarillo may have helped Umbarger survive, but it may also have affected its growth. The 1984 population was given as 327 – the same number used on the 2008 state map.
Umbarger Tx Grain Elevators
Grain Elevators in Umbarger
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
See Texas Grain Elevators | Texas Towns | Texas Panhandle
Umbarger Tx houses
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008

St. Mary's Catholic Church in Umbarger

Umbarger Tx, St. Mary's Church
St. Mary's Catholic Church in Umbarger
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
Photographer's Note:
A lady at the St Mary's church in Umbarger was so kind to show me around the church and explain the work done by the Italian Prisoners. In the large painting behind the altar was an angel. The artist, from his memory of his wife, painted her face on the angel. Years later after the war the artist brought his family back and she was able to see her face on the angel. - Barclay Gibson, January 25, 2009

Visit nearby Italian POW Camp Chapel 3 1/2 Miles S of Hereford
Umbarger Tx, St. Mary's Church Altar
St. Mary's Church altar
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
Umbarger Tx WWII Prisoners And Priests
Photo of WWII Italian POWs and priests in Umbarger displayed in the church. Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
Related Stories & Topics:
Italian POW Camp Chapel | WWII |

Umbarger Area Destinations|
Canyon | Amarillo | Hereford

Umbarger Area Hotels:
Canyon Hotels | Hereford Hotels | Amarillo Hotels

More Destinations:
Texas Towns | Texas | Hotels
- Find Hotels Locally
Amarillo Hotels
Find Hotel Deals in Amarillo

Book Today &Save
 
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | TEXAS HOTELS
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | HOTELS | USA | MEXICO

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
Website Content Copyright ©1998-2008. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: August 25, 2009