in a Pecan Shell
The town was named for Chief Engineer Eugene E. Dryden of the Galveston,
Harrisburg and San Antonio railroad when it arrived at this site in
1882. Although it was first only a section house, within two years
Dryden was the headquarters for the Pecos Land and Cattle Company.
Dryden became an important cattle-shipping point through the early
1900s. The community had a post office by 1888.
The Pecos L & C Company drilled a well that supplied the entire town
with water. In 1908 the town had a hotel and four years later a school
was built which did triple duty as a church, school and community
center. U.S, Troops were stationed at Dryden during the "Border Unrest"
brought about by the 1913 - 1917 Mexican Revolution. Despite the border
troubles, Mexican ranchers continued to bring their cattle to Dryden
to have them shipped on to San
The Block Y Ranch started shipping cattle from Dryden in 1917 and
relocated some of their employees to Dryden. Housing for the families
and a headquarters building were built. By 1929 the population was
100 people but during the Great Depression the railroad closed its
Dryden depot and the population was reduced by half. The area's ranches
broke up and sold out. The population increased back to 100 in the
1940s but declined back to 50 by the mid-1960s.
By 1988 Dryden's population was a mere 13 people and the post office
was still in use.
|An old Mercantile
store, "you can barely make out the words Mercantile and Prop."
Whetstone, August 2005
More Texas Stores
courtesy Sam & Donna Hayes, 2007
|Old water tower
Photo courtesy Allen Waters, 1994
| Old Water
Tower in Dryden
"I was trying to find some information concerning photographs
I had taken back on a road trip in May 1994... Being somewhat of a
rail buff, I spotted this structure as we were on our way from Eagle
Pass to Marathon
(along US Highway 90) and thought I recognized what it was. My wife
was driving, so she turned around for me to get some photographs of
it. Sure enough, it was what I thought it was - a water tower from
the days of steam. I remember seeing another one later that day in
Sanderson, but didnít
get to photograph it.
Iíve attached a photograph of the Dryden tower- as best as I can tell,
it has since been removed. It obviously hadnít been used for some
decades when I took this photograph on 17 May 1994... Itís certainly
a vanishing piece of Americana..." - Best Regards, Allen Waters,
Virginia Beach, VA, June 05, 2016
(Texas?) 1912 class photo (See Forum
Edna (Withrow) Carr is the second young girl standing to your right.
Courtesy Luana (Carr) Wetli
Dryden School (Texas ?) 1912 class photo
I have a pic of my grandmother and her class taken outside by a
one room school house. On the bottom of the pic is "Dryden School".
I believe it maybe from Dryden, TX. We just found this pic in some
old pics of my father's. I know my grandmother was born in OK Territory
and her family later moved to Texas.
Do you have records of the children or families that had children
in the Dryden school? John Robert and Frances Ethel Withrow children
were Edna Caroline born 1904, Joe born 1907, and B. J. born 1909.
All 3 children maybe in the pic. I know they lived in Knox
City, TX when my grandmother and grandfather had my father,
Clinton Carr. - Luana (Carr) Wetli, Monticello, IN, April 11, 2016
Dryden Texas Photos
I loved the photos of Dryden. Most of them I already have that were
taken by my mother, Pauline Chandler (deceased), daughter of John
and Lillye Williams of Dryden.
Mrs. John Williams owned and operated the Purple Sage Saloon
and it was The Cactus Cafe then. There was a room behind
the cafe where they held dances on Saturday nights. It is my understanding
is that part of the cafe was at some point destroyed by fire, but
I don't think my Grandmother Lillye owned it then.
My Grandmother also owned and ran the Dryden Mercantile for
eight years during the fifties. That building is now vacant and
the business moved to the old school house which has been
The other mercantile building with the shed attached became
an auto repair business in the early fifties and was owned by the
only black couple in town, John and Annie ( I can't remember the
Thank you for sharing the wonderful photographs and memories of
my childhood. - Sincerely, Daniel F. Chandler, July 29, 2015
Dryden, Texas - Post Office
The post office has somewhat of an interesting history for my family.
My grandmother, Mabel Amanda Miller (my Dad's mother), was appointed
postmistress there in 1914. She held that post until her death in
1936. After her death her son Ernest Miller (my Dad) was appointed
postmaster and held the position until 1940 at which time he sold
the house with the attached post office to my other grandmother,
Beulah Farley and her husband Raymond Farley. They were appointed
postmaster and postmistress of Dryden. They retired from the post
office around 1963 and sold the house & post office to Buster &
Angie Winn who became the new postmaster and postmistress. Angie
was the daughter of Beulah Farley (my Mother's older sister and
my Aunt). She is also the mother of Karen Barnes who started this
conversation! The house and post office burned down sometime after
Angie & Buster took over.
Most everything that was in Dryden is gone now. My older brother
started school in the two room school house that use to be south
of the tracks on the east end of town. I use to spend a lot of time
in the train depot watching the telegraph operator work his magic
on the telegraph key. In the summer when the steam engines stopped
to take on water many of us kids would rush over to be doused by
the large filler tube on the big water tank - it was a sure way
to cool off. - Sincerely, Duane Miller, College Station, Texas,
July 19, 2013
The picture you have labeled as possibly having been the post office
in Dryden never was. It was the Purple Sage Saloon. The original
post office was on the other side of the rail road tracks and burned
years ago. My grandparents were Raymond and Beula Farley and were
the postmaster and postmistress. Sincerely, Karen Barnes, July
Texas Escapes, 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