a Pecan Shell
Originally a ranching
community when it was formed in the 1870s, Silver was granted a post
office in 1890, the same year a school opened. The post office closed
(due to drought) in 1907 but reopened the following year when there
was enough moisture to lick postage stamps.
The town barely existed - reporting a mere ten residents from 1910
to 1940. It is not known if they were the same ten people. Just after
WWII Sun Oil
Company drilled an exploratory well and came up wet. In a few short
years, the Jameson Field (named for the property owner) had 59 producing
Getting the oil to market proved a problem until a railroad spur was
constructed from Maryneal, the closest
rail connection. Later, the State of Texas made things easier when
they paved Highway 208.
The population soared to 1,000, nearly all of them oil company employees.
The company also invested money in a new state-of-the-art school and
entrepreneurs came to open cafes and stores to serve the needs of
In the 1960s, company operations declined as the wells produced fewer
and fewer barrels of oil. Nearly everyone left, leaving behind 60
people to be counted for the 1980 census.
The Sun Oil Comapany maintained an office in Silver (in case of another
boom) and the post office remained open. The school, silent of students,
became a swine raising operation.
The 2000 census counted 60 people served by six businesses. Silver
was included in T. Lindsay Baker's Ghost Towns of Texas.
Cattle, Oil and Gas Center
A pioneer ranching
center, settled about 1880. Early land owners included S.M. Conner,
W.G. Jameson and W.R. Walker. Dr. J. E. Reed for 50 years was only
physician here. R.B. Allen was outstanding civic leader.
Post office, named for peak nearby, was opened 1890 with Thomas J.
School (2 Ml. SW) was moved here and renamed Silver Peak.
Oil discovery, 1946, brought drilling, refining, employees' camps,
much growth. The town became busy oil-gas center.
After camps closed, 1966, the population declined.
Photo courtesy Art Burnett, June 2015
by stopping at Sanco sign on Hwy 208.
Look S/SW across Colorado River at Sleeping Woman Mountain.
Summer sunrise...Solstice passes across Sanco
up the Valley to highlight Sleeping Woman. No imagination needed as
she is most of a mile long.
Driving north on Hwy 208 thru Panther Gap to semi ghost town
of Silver, best done in the afternoon light, one comes to the King
of Silver. His head is some two hundred feet tall easily viewed
from Hwy 208 off North side of Hwy.
These are but two of what I believe [to be] an ancient religious site
some fifty miles in diameter...." - Art Burnett, PantherGap.com,
June 19, 2015
in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas,
asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact