shell of The Joker Coffee Shop"|
Photo courtesy Bronson Dorsey - http://lost-texas.com
Texas History in a Pecan ShellEctor
County's first oil boom occurred at "Derrick City" – near the former town of Judkins.
When the R. R. Penn Kloh-Rumsey No. 1, came in – the drilling operator was
Penn, thus it was Penn’s well or Penwell. He is said to be the town’s
namesake, however the historical marker on Hwy 80 states that the land was owned
by one Robert Penn – another possible source for the town’s name.
discovery was in the first half of October, 1929, the town was laid out the next
month and a post office was granted in June the next year.
the same predictable explosion of population as other oil towns and naturally,
the same growing pains. Shacks and tents outnumbered proper dwellings.
According to the Handbook of Texas - Penwell had filling stations, stores,
hotels, a drugstore, barbershop, dance hall, and the typical boom town rooming
When drilling declined the population dwindled accordingly. Odessa
and Midland – as well as new oil towns
siphoned off population and Penwell was down to a ghost of it’s former self.
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