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Ector County TX
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Ector County, West Texas

31 55' 2" N, 102 45' 21" W (31.917222, -102.755833)
Hwy 302
20 miles NW of Odessa the county seat
21 miles E of Kermit via 302
Population: 338 est. (2010)

Notrees Area Hotels › Odessa Hotels
Notrees Texas sign
Notrees town sign
Photo Courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp

History in a Pecan Shell

Notrees is one of Texas' later towns. The town's birth was the building of a gas plant for the Shell Oil Co.

As with many Texas towns, the first store served as the first post office and the storekeeper, one Charlie Brown, was the first postmaster. The store opened in 1946 and Mr. Brown named the town. Since there were already a plethora of "Brown" towns (Brownwood, Brownsville, etc.), Mr. Brown decided to name the town after its arboreal deficiency.

It's interesting to note that the construction of the plant caused the only tree in the area to be cut down. We suppose we should all be thankful that the town wasn't named Stumpville.

Ten years after the founding, there was a population of 500, a school, competition for Charlie Brown's store and at least one liquor store. The camps for the plant are now gone, but enough people stayed to keep the town alive.

There are more trees here now, and while we can't provide a tree census, the human population is somewhere around 300 people.

Notrees, Texas historical marker
Notrees Historical Marker on Hwy 302
Photo courtesy George Hollis
Historical Marker


Post Office established 1944 in drug store of C. J. Brown, Jr., who named it in response to U.S. Postoffice Dept. request for title suitable to locality. Residents have since made history by planting shade trees. Now production hub of permian basin; center of gas processing industry, and home of Otto's boys ranch.
TX - Notrees Volunteer Fire Dept.
Notrees Volunteer Fire Department
Photo courtesy Bronson Dorsey, February 2012
TX - Old Notrees Volunteer Fire Department truck
Photo courtesy Bronson Dorsey, February 2012
The old Notrees Volunteer Fire Department truck
"A little background on the Notrees fire truck. It is a 1938 International 500 gallon pumper that started life in the Odessa Fire Department, then was the Goldsmith volunteer unit for many years before Notrees acquired it. It sure is nice to see an old friend."

- Charles Bulsterbaum, December 06, 2016
TX - Notrees fire fighters, 1960s
Notrees Fire Fighters, circa early 1960s
Click on image to enlarge

Courtesy Bill Bryant
Anakarko Oil Pump
Anakarko Oil Pump
Photo Courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp
Leaving Notrees Texas
Leaving Notrees
Photo Courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp

Wings Over Notrees Texas >

by Mike Moore
Willard Van Brunt buzzing Notrees

Notrees, Texas Forum
  • Subject: Notrees Fire Department
    Hello, Just wanted to send a picture of some of Notrees finest volunteers in front of the truck that is pictured on your website under Notrees. My father is the third one from the left. We lived in Notrees from 1957-1967. My father worked as a pumper for TXL and my mother worked for Charlie Brown. Many thanks for keeping alive the memories. - Bill Bryant, December 05, 2016

  • Subject: Notrees Firetruck
    I'm enclosing a photo of the old Notrees Volunteer Fire Department truck that I shot yesterday. Feel free to use it on your Notrees page. I loved reading the memories of former residents. - Bronson Dorsey, Austin, www.lost-texas.com., February 04, 2012

  • Subject: "The Tumbleweed Christmas Tree"
    There was a question about the so-called "Christmas in Notrees" song. The song is actually "The Tumbleweed Christmas Tree" by Andy Wilkinson from Lubbock. To solve a mystery, I had received a tape of the song while in the Navy, package postmarked Lubbock, Texas with no other name on it. Mr. Wilkinson had actually mailed it to me as a gift and I "bumped" into him recently when he was in town doing a concert. I accidently overheard him talking about the song and I told him how I had received the package years ago and had always wondered who sent it. It was nice to finally get to thank him for his kindness. At the time I was freshly overseas and terribly homesick. It shows you what a small world we live in and yet another example of how everybody's acts of kindness do not go unnoticed. Thanks, Andy. - Kyle Davian, Nolan County, Texas, March 22, 2011

  • Subject: A Notrees story
    Attached is an excerpt from a memoir I wrote. It is about an impressionable experience while growing up in Notrees Texas.
    See Wings over Notrees

    My family and I lived there from 1949 to mid 1955. My entire elementary school experience was spent there. It was a busy crossroads of an oilfield town that had eight or nine oil field camps and an active social life in those camps. The environment for a young boy growing was a sort of heaven of freedom with the vast countryside offering many opportunities for camping, arrowhead hunting, archeological wonders, and a friendly population. In my opinion, life was good in those years. I don't regret one moment of growing up in that part of Texas.

    The family photo of the two couples depicts my parents and their two friends. I am not sure who took. I doubt anyone living knows. Beginning on the left is my mother, Lillian Moore and to her left is her husband ( my father) A. J. (Blackie) Moore. They were residents of Notrees from the September of 1949 through the summer of 1955. Next to them is Willard Van Brunt and his wife Helen Van Brunt. They were residents of Notrees from 1949 through 1950 (circa). Willard, a Shell Oil Company employee, was called into the Korean War conflict as a flight instructor in T-33 Thunderbird jets. He was the one who buzzed Notrees with a student in the story I wrote. He died in 1957 in a fiery car accident in Venezuela. As of 2006, his wife and children are still my friends. My mother Lillian died of pancreatitis in 1960. My father died in 1976.

    The six years in Notrees that we spent as a family probably represented the zenith of the Notrees years as it related to population and commerce. The year 1960 represented the beginning of a dramatic decline in that area due to the oil company's decision to move their oil operations to North Africa, and primarily to Saudi Arabia. That move is what killed the Permian Basin economy as we knew it and it moved to just a well servicing economy.

    My early years in that area are greatly appreciated. Now, Notrees is a ghost town in my opinion, but at one time it was the equivalent of a boom town. I enjoyed it. - Mike Moore, August 03, 2006

  • Notrees Memories
    It's good to see Notrees still lives in many of our memories. 1949 to 1952 were the best years of my life. I did 4th, 5th, & 6th grades at Notrees Elementary then we moved into Odessa where I started the 7th at Bowie JH and finished at OHS in ' 58. The worst move of my life. Cried for days - seriously. Notrees was the perfect place for a 9 to 12 year old boy. I had a dog (Buddy) and a .22 rifle and walked the whole cap rock hunting rabbits. Actually got sprayed right in the face by a skunk one morning when I was running my trap line with my buddy Jim Tom. Heck, we would take our 22 rifles with us on the school bus so we could hunt rabbits while we walked home after school. Can you imagine that in today's world?

    My Dad worked for Shell and we lived in the camp directly across from Brown's drug store/post office. In fact, Lanita Brown was my first girlfriend in the 4th grade. Sadly she died of cancer in 1998 just months before our 40th Odessa High School reunion. Her daddy named Notrees and her mother was post mistress until she retired. Ms. Brown died in Ruidosa NM a couple of years ago where she was living with her daughters Diane and Judy. We kept in touch through Christmas cards.

    I've used Notrees Elementary as an example of efficiency in education often. Total of four staff members for 1st through 6th grades. Mr. Miller taught 5th and 6th, was the principal, the sports coach, and ran it all. Ms. Clark was 3rd & 4th, while Ms. Miller was 1st and 2nd - and they all did their own administrative support. Mr. Adams drove the bus, was building custodian, plumber, electrician, heating plant engineer (no a/c in those days), grounds keeper, and jack of all trades - not to mention school nurse. I still have a scar on my wrist where Mr. Adams dug a mesquite thorn out with his pocket knife! Would you believe that they actually held kids back that didn't pass, and even bumped kids ahead a grade when they learned two grades at once.

    I spent 20 years in the Air Force and settled down here in San Antonio in 1982. Although I lived in Odessa 1952 - 1960, everyone knows me as the guy from Notrees, Texas. I guess I've told too many stories about the good days out there.

    Long live Notrees Texas and the Cap Rock Cafe (best cheeseburgers in the world!!!) !!! - George Hollis, San Antonio, July 30, 2006

  • Subject: "Christmas In Notrees"
    A man I work with seems to be obsessed with the song "Christmas in Notrees." Mr. Davian said that he has a copy. Could we get him to make a copy? I will pay for the recording, postage and handling. (Email:tjki@chevron.com)

    Please also note that Notrees has some bike trails nearby which are pretty cool! Our Boy Scout Troop went there a couple of years ago. Thanks, Tip Kirwan, Midland, Texas, July 02, 2006

  • Subject: Notrees, thanks for everything.
    My name is Kyle Davian and I have a special place in my heart for Notrees, and especially the former postmaster, Millsie King. Back in the mid-nineties I was sent overseas to Japan, where I would remain for many years. I got homesick for Ector County where I was raised. But I had always had fond memories of Notrees. Even as a child, I appreciated the sereness of the area and every so often I would pester my dad to drive through there. We would always see a jackrabbit, roadrunner or horned toad and I swore (like kids do) that one day I would grow up to live in Notrees - and be the mayor.

    Anyway, [from Japan] I sent a letter trying to locate someone in Notrees to talk to. My letter ended up in the hands on the Odessa postmaster, a nice man (I forget his name) who routed the letter to Millsie. Soon thereafter (and during many a frequent northern Japan blizzard) I checked my mailbox. Many people don't realize just how important mail is to us overseas. Imagine my surprise when I saw a priority packet stamped "Notrees, Texas". Inside was a nice letter from Millsie, along with several items from several residents, little keepsakes like "I Love Notrees" button, etc. It was my Notrees care package. Through the years I embraced the town and looked forward to every letter. Others heard about our relationship and sent items such as a cassette with the song "Christmas in Notrees." That one came postmarked Lubbock. To this date, I still do not know who sent it, but I still have it and it means a whole lot to me. I later found out that the Notrees post office had my original letter on display there.

    I became a Notrees "cheerleader," and once had our overseas television station announce the weather in Notrees one day. Yes, I said, there is such a place, and you have to actually go there to understand why. These memories molded me into an adult that no matter how far I travel across the world and see all the terrible things I see, I always know I can go "home" and get a smile, a cup of coffee or a pat on the back from people there, even if I don't personally know them. Notrees, thanks for everything. - Kyle Davian, Sweetwater, Texas, April 07, 2006

  • Subject: Notrees,Texas
    If Notrees had a post office in Mr. Brown's store Notrees must have had a name before it became Notrees. Anyone knowing that name please phone me collect at 972-686-3055. If I'm not in leave a message or leave info on my answering machine. - Bill Cannon, February 02, 2006

    Subject: Notrees before it was Notrees
    Mr. Bill Cannon asked what the town's name was before it was Notrees. It did not have a name and that's how Notrees came to be. To have a post office a community first needed a name and there wasn't one. Attached is a picture of the Notrees Historical Marker which pretty much explains it. Charlie Brown (our neighbor across the highway) filled out an application to establish a post office and he wrote "no trees" in the post office request form for a name suitable for local. Prior to that oilfield hands just called it TXL after the gasoline plant. Incidently, the Historical Marker is right in front or where our house was in the Shell Oil Company camp. Thanks. - George Hollis, August 02, 2006

  • Subject: Notrees and Goldsmith, Texas
    My family moved to the Humble Oil Camp (1 mile out of Goldsmith) when I was just starting the 4th grade. (1957) I attended Goldsmith Elementary School and, later, Crocket Junior High. Our Camp was the 2nd stop on the bus route to Odessa, and in it's heyday there were 7 or 8 of us making the trek, but at the end it was only my friend, Sheila, and I. The oil field had moved to Monahans and we moved to Odessa. I still remember stopping in Notrees on the way to Odessa.

    Goldsmith had a variety store, 2 grocery stores and about 7 liquor stores, if my memory serves me right. I had always heard that it had been quite a boom town in the past. I think it even had a hotel--I think. Anyway, we never did anything but pass through Notrees, but it seemed to me that there was nothing there in those days. It made Goldsmith look big.

    I haven't been back to my old stomping grounds since I graduated in 1965; however, I'm going back in May and try to remember where everything was. I had some good times on that ol' flat piece of ground. - Judy Keffer, February 27, 2004

  • I grew up in the " big" town of Notrees, Texas. I read that you could not get in touch with the post office in Notrees. The telephone number is (915) 827-3326. I hope this helps! Thank You, Star Gholson

    Our sincere thanks to Charlene Beatty Beauchamp for photographing Notrees especially for Texas Escapes. Charlene Beatty Beauchamp is the Webmaster and County Coordinator for many West Texas County Genealogical websites.
    More photos by Charlene Beatty Beauchamp

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    See Ector County | West Texas

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