gas station in Wink circa 1910|
Photo courtesy Marianne Clancy
in a Pecan Shell|
Wink 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.
original 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 alongside Kilgore,
Freer and Beaumont
as one of the wilder oil towns.
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.
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.
30s saw another attempt at incorporation, and this time it took. There was increased
medical care, even as the population continued to decline.
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|
Wink 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.
handsome 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. more
of Wink -
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." more
Texas ForumI 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
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