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MEDICINE MOUND, TEXAS


Texas Ghost Town
Hardeman County, Texas Panhandle / Central Texas N

34 11' 16" N, 99 35' 40" W (34.187778, -99.594444)

FM 1167 and FM 91
12 miles SE of Quanah the county seat
9 miles SW of Chillicothe
24 miles W of Vernon
42 miles E of Childress
Population: 50 (Est. but doubtful number used since 1980)

Medicine Mound Area Hotels ›
Vernon Hotels | Quanah Hotels

Medicine Mount, Texas panaramic view
"[F]our dolomite hills called Medicine Mounds"
"[O]ne mound contained springs, herbs and gypsum believed to have medicinal properties." See historical markers below
Click on photo for larger image.

Photo courtesy Jonnie England, October 2021

History in a Pecan Shell

Like the old saying goes: "If you find Medicine Mound - you had to have been looking for it." It's not that it's difficult to find - since it still appears on the state map - it's just that it is on a long extended spur off of Highway 287. (FM 91 on the east and FM 1167) on the west. The mountains that comprise the mounds are visible from Highway 287. There are actually four elevations that rise 200-250 feet above the landscape. These are natural mounds that were held sacred by the Comanches.

The older Medicine Mound community that had been here prior to 1908 moved 2 miles north to be alongside the tracks of the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway as it built through Hardeman County.

Medicine Mound was once a vibrant town with a respectable population of 500 served by 22 businesses. A devastating fire in the early 30s (arson) destroyed most of the town. By the end of the Great Depression the population was 210 and the town still had 6 buildings left.

Today there are three - about the same number of historical markers. The Medicine Mound school merged with Quanah's district in the mid-1950s - about the same time the post office closed.

Medicine Mound Texas old photo, New York Steam Laundry, people, horse & buggies
"New York Steam Laundry"
Medicine Mound old photo courtesy Teresa Byrd, restored by John Bates

Historical Marker:

Medicine Mound Community

Early inhabitants of this area were Comanche and Kiowa Indians whose campsites were situated around four dolomite hills called Medicine Mounds and known for their healing properties. In 1854, area land was deeded to a railway company. Anglo settlers began to arrive in the 1870s. A small village developed but was moved 2.5 miles north in 1908 when the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway was built. A townsite was platted that year and was fully established by 1911. At its peak, Medicine Mound boasted 22 businesses and a population of 500. Economic hardships, the Great Depression and a 1933 fire that burned the entire town were primary forces in the town's eventual demise. The last business closed in 1966.
(1999)

Medicine Mount, Texas - Medicine Mound Community historical marker
Medicine Mound Community historical marker
Photo courtesy Jonnie England, October 2021


Where did all the people go
Where did all the people go?
Photo courtesy John Bates, Nov. 2006


Medicine Mound, Texas
Landmarks & Attractions:



The 1933
Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise Store/
The Medicine Mound Museum

"The solid granite round rocks were brought from Oklahoma and are actually prehistoric gravel" - Myna Potts, store owner

Medicine Mound, TX - Medicine Mound Museum
Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise Store / Medicine Mound Museum & three historical markers in 2006
Photo courtesy Geri Bates, Nov. 2006
The Medicine Mound Museum

Historical Marker:

Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise Store

The townsite of Medicine Mound had long been a thriving village when brothers-in-law Lon L. Cobb and Ira Lee Hicks arrived in the area with their families in 1927 and opened a general merchandise store. The store sold such items as work clothes and clothing material, shoes, cotton sacks, groceries and horse feed. Regular customers warmed themselves by the fire in winter, indulging in conversation and checkers. In 1933 a fire all but destroyed the townsite, but Hicks and Cobb rebuilt that year with round granite cobblestones from Oklahoma. Lon L. Cobb died in 1942. Hicks carried on and the store was among the last businesses to serve area residents and migrant agricultural workers. Ira Lee Hicks died in 1966; the structure became a community gathering place and a Medicine Mound museum.
(1999)

Medicine Mount, Texas - Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise Store historical marker
Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise Store historical marker
Photo courtesy Jonnie England, October 2021


Medicine Mound TX - General Store, north side
North side of the General Store
Photo courtesy Randy Hinsley, February 2011


Medicine Mound TX - Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise Store
Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise Store / Museum in 2011
Photo courtesy Randy Hinsley, February 2011


Medicine Mound TX - Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise Store
Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise Store in 2021
Photo courtesy Jonnie England, October 2021


Medicine Mound TX - Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise Store
Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise Store
Photo courtesy Jonnie England, October 2021


Medicine Mound TX - Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise Store
Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise Store
Photo courtesy Jonnie England, October 2021
The Medicine Mound Museum


The 1933 W.W. Cole Building
Medicine Mound Old Gas Station:
The building was originally the bank, drugstore and post office

Medicine Mound Texas - W.W. Cole.Building and Old  gas pumps
The W.W. Cole Building - The old gas station in 2006
Photo courtesy Geri Bates, November 2006


Medicine Mound Texas  - Old gas stationW.W. Cole.Building and Old  gas pumps
The W.W. Cole Building, one of the two remaining building in 2011
Photo courtesy Randy Hinsley, February 2011


Medicine Mound TX - Old gas station, gas pumps, the W.W. Cobb Building
The W.W. Cobb Building - Old gas station & gas pumps in 2021
Photo courtesy Jonnie England, October 2021


Medicine Mound TX - Old gas station, gas pumps, the W.W. Cobb Building
The W.W. Cobb Building - Old gas station & gas pumps
Photo courtesy Jonnie England, October 2021


Medicine Mound TX - Old gas station, gas pumps, the W.W. Cobb Building
The W.W. Cobb Building - Old gas station & gas pumps
Photo courtesy Jonnie England, October 2021


Medicine Mound TX - Old gas station, gas pumps, the W.W. Cobb Building
The W.W. Cobb Building - Old gas station & gas pumps
Click on image to enlarge
Photo courtesy Jonnie England, October 2021


Medicine Mound Schoolhouse Ruin:

Medicine Mound TX  Schoolhouse Ruin
Medicine Mound Schoolhouse in 2012
"... about 50 yards off FM1167..."

Photo courtesy Clay Isbell, December 2012

Medicine Mound Schoolhouse

"The building pictured is indeed the Medicine Mound School, which was closed around the mid to late 1940's. it was used as a community meeting place until the early 1970's (approximately). My father graduated from this school in 1942. Thanks for sharing!" - Emily Stone, March 12, 2013
Photographers' Notes:

  • "I love TexasEscapes.com! It's a fabulous resource and source of information for so many of us Texas history buffs. THANK YOU for creating, maintaining and updating the site! I was in Medicine Mound in October, 2021, and things have changed a bit. I thought you might be interested in these recent photos of the old school — what's left of it — and the store and gas station. Thank you again for your dedication and hard work to this marvelous site." Jonnie England


  • "Hi TE! A few years ago I sent pics and a question about what ultimately was identified as the schoolhouse in Medicine Mound. The pictures were from a visit in 2012. I've returned a couple of times since then, and I just visited on February 6th and was saddened by what I saw. The entire top portion of the school has collapsed or has been removed. I noticed the 2 trees that were in front of the building are gone too, making me think that perhaps the removal was intentional (maybe safety reasons?) or may have been cleaned up after a storm. Anyway, it was still a shock to see this piece of history in worse shape than before.

    I've made it a habit to stop here when traveling to points further west and will continue to do so. Hopefully things won't get any worse. The rest of the town seems to be in the same shape as the last few years" - Clay Isbell, February 12, 2016


  • "I've traveled Hwy 287 between Decatur and Dumas Texas for years while heading to destinations further west and never really ventured off the main highway until recently. While searching for ghost towns on your website, I came across Medicine Mound and had no clue the town existed. Even as a child back in the 70's I often wondered what the significance of the mounds were, but we always traveled this highway as a means to get from point A to point B, never exploring what lay beyond the blacktop of 287. Now as an adult and self-proclaimed "back road junkie" and photographer I have planned trips around what has become my favorite stretch of highway, and thanks to your site I've been able to find hidden gems like the ghost town of Medicine Mound.

    I visited there just after Christmas 2012 and found the W.W. Cole and Hicks & Cobbs buildings in pretty much the same condition as I had seen on your website and others. But what I have not been able to find is the story on the larger building which lies in ruins about 50 yards off FM1167 and across the street from these two buildings. It appears as though it was some type of school (but seems rather large for the population statistics from the past). I would appreciate if any of your readers may have some knowledge of its past and purpose. Thanks for such an informative and intriguing website.

    P.S. I have additional photos from Medicine Mound on my website below in the "Ghost Towns and Old Mines of the West".
    Clay Isbell Photography
    www.clayisbell.smugmug.com
    www.facebook.com/clayisbellphotography
    - Clay Isbell, January 01, 2013

  • Medicine Mound TX Schoolhouse Ruin
    Medicine Mound Schoolhouse ruins in 2012
    Photo courtesy Clay Isbell, December 2012


    Medicine Mound TX  Schoolhouse Ruin
    The schoolhouse in 2012
    Photo courtesy Clay Isbell, December 2012


    Medicine Mound TX Schoolhouse Ruin
    Medicine Mound Schoolhouse ruins in 2016
    Photo courtesy Clay Isbell, February 2016


    Medicine Mound TX Schoolhouse Ruin
    Medicine Mound schoolhouse ruins in 2021
    Photo courtesy Jonnie England, October 2021


    Medicine Mound TX Schoolhouse Ruin
    The schoolhouse ruins with wind turbines nearby
    Photo courtesy Jonnie England, October 2021


    Medicine Mound TX Schoolhouse Ruin
    More of the schoolhouse ruins
    Photo courtesy Jonnie England, October 2021



    "Texas' Favorite Detour"

    Could Medicine Mound be Texas' most interesting ghost town?

    It is to the staff of Texas Escapes. Three reasons that come to mind are: #1 It doesn't mind being called a ghost town. It is what it is and it's certainly not pretentious (if it ever was). It is proud of it's fascinating history - but while many former towns are proud - Medicine Mound can boast having ... more



    Historical Marker: (S on FM 3295, junction of FM 1167):
    Old Mounds Cemetery
    This cemetery served residents of the original site of the community of Medicine Mound in southeast Hardeman County. The settlement took its name from mounds that rise abruptly from the otherwise flat topography of the county; one mound contained springs, herbs and gypsum believed to have medicinal properties. Established by the late 1800s, the community consisted of Gobins' General Merchandise Store, a school and a church. The cemetery was adjacent to the one-room building used both as a schoolhouse and sanctuary. Most early residents of the community participated in farming or ranching activities. Little information is known about the early pioneers buried here. It is believed that approximately nine burials took place in the community's early history. Only one original gravestone, dated 1891, is preserved, and it marks the burials of two infants, Smoot and Ford Kerley, children of settlers J.C. and Ida Kerley. Other known burials are of Old Mounds residents of Mexican descent. In 1908, the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway laid track two and half miles north of here. Residents moved near the railroad and the previous community came to be known as Old Mounds. In 1919, the school relocated as well, and soon the old settlement was entirely abandoned, as was the cemetery. Today, this burial ground is all that remains of Old Mounds, a testament to the pioneering farmers and ranchers of this area and the Hispanic families who lived and worked here.
    Historic Texas Cemetery - 2006



    Medicine Mount, Texas -  W.P.A. Sanitation Project historical marker
    W.P.A. Sanitation Project historical marker
    Photo courtesy Jonnie England, October 2021

    Historical Marker: 9 miles S of Chillicothe on FM 91. Structure reported destroyed Jun 2008
    W. P. A. Sanitation Project
    In 1937 the State of Texas and Hardeman County worked with President Franklin Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration in an attempt to provide much-needed employment to indigent citizens and replace unsanitary privies with improved facilities. The advantages of these structures included a decrease in such diseases as typhoid fever, hookworm and dysyntery. The privies featured fly-tight construction and were carefully placed in areas where they could not pollute the water supply. One toilet was placed on this site behind the Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise store. When it was destroyed, another privy was moved from where it originally stood on the property of the Bellamy family. W. H. Bellamy and his family were Medicine Mound town founders.
    (1999)



    Medicine Mound Area Hotels :
    Vernon Hotels | Quanah Hotels


    Medicine Mound, Texas Forum

    Subject: Growing up in Medicine Mound
    I am now 62 years old and have fond memories of this now, ghost town. I lived with my grandparents in a very small house there. Their driveway (dirt and gravel) ran beside the Baptist church. My grandmother made us clean up, if the lights came on at the church and off we would go to praise God (and see our friends). My grandfather worked at the only service station in town and drove the gas truck home at night. I have fond memories of walking to see my grandfather at the station. He would always buy my brother and I a 5 cent coke in a glass bottle and a 3 - 5 cent candy bar. We loved to watch him fix flat tires in the back room. He would use a patch on the inner tube and would light it to seal the patch to the tube. We sometime got to go to what we called Punkin City to pick up gas for the station in the gas truck with him. We loved this as we sometimes got to eat at a cafe, which was a real treat.

    My brother and I went to school in Medicine Mounds until they closed it. Then, we rode the bus to Quanah and back every day. The school at the Mounds had two teachers. Mrs Matthews taught the younger kids and the principal taught the older group. I think we only had six grades, I am not sure about that. I do remember the school as the most fun place. There was a wooden floor gym and you would enter the bleacher area on one floor and look down at the gym floor in like a basement area. I remember going to the gym after hours to be with my uncle to watch him practice basketball with his friends. While he was practicing, my brother and I loved to hang over the balcony and drop to the floor below. We thought this was very daring.

    When I was young I remember hearing the foxhunts at night from our yard. I think my grandmother said they were at the King ranch. I also remember friends who told me of finding arrowheads on the mounds. My grandmother would never let me go there.

    The last time I went to the Mounds as we all called the town, everything was all closed up. The school was still there looking very rundown. The station brought back so many memories, it is hard not to cry, even as I write this. - Nancy Sue Ashmore, October 16, 2006

    Texas Escapes 400th Texas Ghost Town 12-1-06



    Medicine Mount, Texas post office info
    Medicine Mount, Texas1957 postmark
    Cover canceled with Medicine Mount, TX 1957 postmark
    Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection


    Medicine Mount, Texas panaramic view
    Medicine Mounds
    Click on photo to enlarge

    Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, July 2006


    TX Hardeman County 1940s Map
    Hardeman County 1940s map showing Medicine Mound on the railroad line
    From Texas state map #4335
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Take a road trip

    Texas Panhandle | Central Texas N

    Medicine Mound , Texas Nearby Towns:
    Quanah the couny seat
    Chillicothe | Vernon | Childress

    See Hardeman County

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