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    PORTERVILLE, TEXAS

    Texas Ghost Town
    Loving County, West Texas
    25 miles NE of Pecos
    2 miles S of Mentone

    Population: 0

    Porterville, Texas Area Hotels:
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    Horse and buggy  in front of Temple Theater, Porterville, Texas, 1900s
    Temple Theater in downtown Porterville, early 1900s
    Photo courtesy Larry Randall
    History in a Pecan Shell

    Originally named Juanita, after a woman no one remembers, the town was renamed by Doctor Phil Porter of Michigan who started a health colony there in 1905. Porter was convinced that the West Texas climate was healthy and wholesome.

    Doctor Porter platted the townsite in1908, and modestly named it Porterville. A post office opened under the old name of Juanita in 1909 but officially changed the name to Porterville, Texas a year later.

    The townspeople donated money and labor to build a community building / school / church. Completed in 1909, it was moved to Mentone (in 1931) where it still stands - the oldest building in the county. The school held classes until 1935 when a new school was built as well as the standing courthouse.

    Much needed Irrigation was planned, but too many dams were built and the water level dropped. The acreage under irrigation dropped from slightly over 1,000 to 600. People started moving away around 1913.

    As the water became scarce and unfit for drinking, oil was discovered and Mentone came into existence - just 2 miles to the northeast.

    Porterville residents drifted to Mentone until no one was left.
    Porterville, West Texas ghost town
    Site of Porterville today
    Photo Courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp
    Mentone, TX - Loving County Historic church
    The church moved from Porterville to Mentone
    The oldest building in Loving County
    today
    Photo Courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp
    Loving County TX - grand canyon in Porterville
    An abandoned gravel quarry is known to locals as the "Grand Canyon"
    Photo Courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp
    Loving County TX - View of Mentone from Porterville
    Mentone as seen from the "Grand Canyon" near Porterville
    Photo Courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp

    Porterville Texas Forum

  • Subject: Porterville Temple Theater Photo
    This photo was taken in downtown Porterville in the early 1900s and shows the Temple Theater in the background. The ladies in the wagon most likely are Capitola (Newton) Goodrich and her younger sister Celinda Newton. The Newton Girls were born and raised in Eaton County, Michigan. Porterville's school teacher Miss Celinda Newton returned to her home town in Eaton County, Michigan. Mrs Goodrich and her husband, lived their lives in Loving County, Texas. They are buried in Charlotte, Eaton County Michigan. - Larry Randall, Springport, Michigan, December 08, 2005

  • I have a post card addressed to "Miss Celinda Newton" Dixieland, Texas. postmarked 1908. Ms. Newton was a school teacher in Porterville, Tx . It appears that they must have used this mailing address before there was one closer.

    Ms. Newton is mentioned in the Porterville history, Loving County,TX online. She was a sister to Mrs. Floyd Goodrich, longtime residents of that area. They were from near here in MI. I am into a study of Porterville. - Larry Randall, Springport, Michigan, March 17, 2005

    See Lost Towns of the Pecos >
  • Texas 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 of their town, please contact us.

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