a Pecan Shell
named Salt Lake when it was developed at the turn of the (20th)
century, it was later renamed to honor the man who had discovered
it in 1875. Major General William Rufus Shafter was a veteran of the
Civil War, Indian Wars and the Spanish-American
War. Shafter died at his California Ranch in 1906.)
James T. Cumley, local editor, was Shafter Lake’s biggest booster.
Cumley published glowing reports of the fledgling community in his
newspaper and then sent copies out across the country, hoping to lure
The town was platted in 1907 and before the end of that year, there
were an estimated 50 houses. A post office was granted that same year
and a cemetery was established the next. Plans for a railroad
connection never materialized, but nevertheless, Shafter Lake reached
a respectable population of 500 residents by 1910.
That same year the town entered into a “county-seat war” with nearby
Andrews. Shafter Lake lost and suffered
the inevitable fate of towns that lose such fights. A large portion
of the population relocated to the winning town, leaving little sign
that the community once throve. Even the cemetery became a ghostleaving
behind the remains of the dozen or so people who had the misfortune
of dying in a soon-to-be ghost town.
From Andrews, take US 385 N about 7 miles, then go W on FM 1967 about
First town in yet-unorganized
Platted 1908. Named for lake charted in 1875 survey of Col. Wm. R.
Shafter, whose maps and victories over powerful Indians opened the
Permian Basin to settlement. Water trough built by John Underwood
of Shafter Lake Sand and Gravel is on site then set aside for a courthouse.
It was stopping place for ranchers and freighters on way from Jal
and Monument, N. Mex., into Texas. Town started to grow around trough.
But when vote in 1910 county organization gave county seat to Andrews,
town moved there.
NW 2001, 1.6 miles S of FM 1967 (Frankel City Highway), SE side of
(1.5 miles West)
Established just after turn of the century, on the south bank of Shafter
Lake, and two miles south of the extinct settlement of Shafter Lake.
Named for Colonel William R. Shafter (1835-1906), who led military
expedition through region in 1875. It became the resting place for
residents of remote ranches and travelers. Oldest legible gravestones
are dated 1909; those of Joseph Snively and Mrs. Lucy Woolsey. Several
remains have been removed by relatives; site now contains 12 known
graves. The once neglected cemetery is cared for by Andrews
of the original town
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, February 2008
Linsay Baker wrote about Shafter Lake in 'Ghost Towns of Texas.'
Other structures now occupy the area but only the house remains of
the original town.
Shafter Lake is about eight miles northwest of Andrews in Andrews
County." - Barclay
Gibson, February 2008
County, TX 1920s map showing Shafter Lake
From Texas state map #10749
Texas General Land Office
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