a Pecan Shell|
Begun as a Quaker Colony in 1879 by Indianan Paris Cox, the town was first named
Marietta for Coxís wife Mary. Cox had traded his sawmill back home in Indiana
for land in Crosby and Lubbock counties and built a sod house here. Other settlers
endured their first Texas winter in tents and it turned out to be their last Texas
winter as well. The Cox family remained and brought in a crop, which enabled them
to recruit more settlers. The town had a primitive school taught in a dugout in
1882 and two years later the town was granted a post office. At this time the
name was changed to Estacado. The residents built a meeting house in 1884 and
classes were moved there.
From its inauspicious beginning, Estacado became
Crosby Countyís first seat of government in 1886 despite itís off center location.
The number of residents was given as 200 by 1890 but when Emma,
Texas took the county seat status of Estacado in 1891, the writing was on
the wall. Paris Cox had died in 1888 and no one shared his vision or attempted
to steer the community through the hard times.
The final straw came in
a plague of locusts combined with a drought. Only a handful of people remained.
The Society of Friends had left the town but things improved slightly as the 20th
century made its appearance.
The post office shut its doors in 1918 and
mail was routed through Petersburg.
The 1930 census reported just under 70 people living in Estacado and ten years
later it was 80. That same number has been in use through the year 2000.
Drive Around Estacado:Photographer's
Baker has Estacado listed in one of his Ghost Town books. There are a few occupied
dwellings. The Gin looks operative. - Barclay
Gibson, July 2009
Paris Cox (1846-1888), an Indiana Quaker, visited this area with a group of buffalo
hunters. Attracted by the abundance of cheap farm land, he returned to Indiana
and began advertising his plans for a Quaker colony here. Although the first colonists
who arrived in 1879 were discouraged by a severe winter, other settlers, including
those of various religious beliefs, soon moved to the area. The settlement was
first called Maryetta in honor of Cox's wife, but in 1886 it was renamed Estacado,
part of the Spanish term for the Staked Plains, Llano Estacado.
County was formally organized in 1886, Estacado was chosen as the first county
seat. A courthouse was built two years later. The center of a vast agricultural
area, Estacado continued to prosper until the 1890s when the county seat was moved
to Emma and many of the early
colonists began migrating to other areas.
An important reminder of Estacado's
pioneers is this community cemetery, the burial site of many early settlers and
area leaders, including Paris Cox. Now part of Lubbock County, it serves as a
historic record of the individuals who opened the Texas
Plains and led in the region's agricultural development.
postal map showing Estacado in Crosby County|
(NE of Lubbock.
Above "C" in "C-R-O-S-B-Y")
Courtesy Texas General Land
Conway and Estacado
Town dried up after Interstate 40 routed a half mile north. My distant cousins'
family operated the motel, er, tourist court, there as well as a cafe. Cousin
Johnny made spare change at the filling station running a wrecker service on Route
66. He chargesd rich folks plenty, but a family in need he didn't charge at all.
I missed Estacado. It's still there on the Crosby/Lubbock county line, and
was once a county seat for many counties back when. Gin still operating with maybe
5 or 6 homes still occupied. Once a quaker settlement named Marietta.
Thanks for an interesting [magazine]. Keep up the good work. - Benny Poulson,
Ralls, Texas, September 12, 2006