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  Texas : Towns A-Z / Texas Panhandle :

WASHBURN, TEXAS

Texas Panhandle Ghost Town
Armstrong County
Highway 287
20 Miles E of Amarillo

Not shown on state map
Population: 104 (1990)

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Washburn Texas grain elevators
Washburn grain elevators

Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, July 2006
History in a Pecan Shell

The town was once part of the JA Ranch until the ranch was split up in 1887. Robert E. Montgomery, landowner took advantage of a site that was briefly the terminus for the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway. A townsite was platted and Montgomery named the town for D. W. Washburn, a railroad officer. Perhaps because of his act, the railroad dug two water wells and built a depot and section house. When tracks were laid (1888) to the town of Panhandle (Carson County), Washburn became a boom town - becoming a hub of activity. A post office was granted that year and a combination school / church was built a year later.

In 1890 Washburn and Claude competed for the Armstrong county seat. Washburn lost the election. Between it's proximity to Amarillo and it's lost status, Washburn fell into an immediate decline.

The town may have been down, but it wasn't out. They received a telephone connection to Amarillo in the mid-1890s 1896 and a bank was established and a church built.

The population remained at just 25 people for decades - from the 30s through the 50s - the decade when the post office closed. By the mid 1960s it had increased to an estimated 100 people but declined to 70 not long after.

Today the town is marked by the grain elevator - but not much else.

Washburn, Texas Forum

Anyone wishing to share history or photos of Washburn, please contact us.
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This page last modified: August 5, 2006