|Old gas station
in Wink circa 1910
Photo courtesy Marianne Clancy
in a Pecan ShellWink was born late for a Texas town. The year was 1926 and oil
had just been discovered. They wanted the town named Winkler
after the County, but the postal authorities said no. So they shortened
their application to Wink and got their post office in 1927. This
was the same year they organized a school.
residents (both of them) were surprised when the population swelled
to 3,500 by late 1927. By 1929 the population was 6,000 and that
even surprised the newcomers. It's entirely possible that with all
the activity that several people were counted twice. Naturally,
the infrastructure had a hard time keeping up. A wave of boom-town
parasites invaded the town and earned Wink a place in Texas history
as one of the wilder oil towns.
The city government was under the control of organized crime in
1928. This was unheard of in Texas!
Texans were used to crime in local government - they just hadn't
heard of any being organized. A Judge declared the city's incorporation
void in 1928 and they went about building a jail. We're told the
jail was the first municipal building.
When the Texas-New
Mexico Railroad came through in 1929, the population was already
declining. Even connecting the town to Monahans
didn't stop the former Winkites from moving away.
The 30s saw another
attempt at incorporation, and this time it took. There was increased
medical care, even as the population continued to decline.
A cycle of small
gains and losses in both people and businesses kept Wink busy through
the 40s and 50s. The town made National headlines in 1960 when
it received a million dollars in Federal funds which it spent on
curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
TEXAS ATTRACTIONS / IMAGES
Roy Orbison Museum
If you are old enough, you've heard Wink mentioned for being Roy Orbison's
boyhood home. If you're like most people, while you were on the way
to get an atlas you probably got distracted, so you're still unaware
of exactly where Wink is. If you're young enough, you'll probably
ask Roy who?
Old Wink Cemetery
Cemetery is the burial site of 26 persons who died during the early
days of the oil boom, 1926-1929. ... The cemetery marker is inside
the Wink Museum. more
survivor of Wink's heyday and one of the rare Texas theaters from
the 20s has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Like-New Sidewalks and a Paper Historical Marker
qualified as a perfect example - the "poster child" for Urban Renewal
in Texas. $1,000,000 was awarded to raze dilapidated and/or dangerous
structures plus install new infrastructure for future growth."
contact: Wink City Hall - 213 E. Hendricks, 915-527-3441
I am watching
a Roy Orbison concert special on National Public Television. I decided
to search for information about Roy. I found his home town of Wink,
Texas and was entertained by the historical notes about Wink. I
also noted the 'Roy Orbison
Museum' located there which I will remember to visit when I
travel through Texas. Thank You - V, Seattle, Washington, 11/Jun/2002
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