miles NW of Odessa
21 miles E of
Kermit via 302
Population : 338
Volunteer Fire Department
courtesy Bronson Dorsey, February 2012
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,
Mr. Brown decided to name the town after its arboreal deficiency.
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
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.
old Notrees Volunteer Fire Department truck
courtesy Bronson Dorsey, February 2012
Historical Marker on Hwy 302|
courtesy George Hollis
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.
Van Brunt buzzing Notrees|
Area Hotels > Odessa
Texas Forum Subject:
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
"The Tumbleweed Christmas Tree"
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
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
A Notrees story
is an excerpt from a memoir I wrote. It is about an impressionable experience
while growing up in Notrees Texas.
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.
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
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
"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:firstname.lastname@example.org)
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
Notrees, thanks for everything.
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.
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
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
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
Notrees and Goldsmith, Texas
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
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
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.
photos by Charlene Beatty Beauchamp
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic
photos, please contact
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