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Texas Ghost Town
Winkler County, West Texas
Population: 0

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Editorís note: Jack and Mary Helen Allen introduced us to Theodore - a town that didnít get a listing in the Handbook of Texas. They have provided the information below. The Allens research is ongoing. Our thanks for their information which includes excepts from the autobiography of Chester Albert Gibbs. Itís a welcome addition to the area and Iím sure that Kermit residents will find it interesting that their town survived while a town that was named after the father of their namesake didnít. - Editor

Taken from "Winkler County 1887-1984"
ďTheodore was located on the postal route from Pyote to Duval. It was located southeast of present day Wink, Texas. Theodore's post office became effective on November 10, 1909, with William H. Gibbs as postmaster. The post office was discontinued and moved to Kermit February 29, 1912.Ē
Cemetery Records of Winkler County compiled by Genealogical Society 1982
Winkler County TX 1940s map
1940 Winkler County map showing Kermit , Wink,
Pyote Ward County) and Mentone (Loving County)
From Texas state map #4335

Courtesy Texas General Land Office

My great grandfather, William Henry Gibbs, moved to the Winkler/Loving County area in May 1909. The following is an excerpt from the autobiography of his son, Chester Albert Gibbs:

"Most of our land was in Winkler County, and every one was supposed to go to a little settlement east about 7 miles to organize the County and establish the Co. seat, on a certain date. This little settlement was called Kermit, and it had been cut up into town lots and there were quite a few people already located there, a store, and a couple lawyers, and they were starting a school house, and had a spot for the court house. There was a crowd over there the day the county was organized, and they were circulating a petition to have a mail route come out from Pyote and to get a post office. Father, always keen to grasp an opportunity, he wrote out his own petition to have this mail route extended to his store, and he made application to the post master at Pyote to be named post master at his store. In due time this star mail route was established, and Father was appointed post master for his post office, known as Theodore, and the county seat was Kermit. This was twice per week mail service. So Father had to now build a post office in one corner of his store. There was not much money in a post master ship, but Father knew people would come twice per week to get their mail, and while there would buy something. And it sure helped his sales."

Taken from "Napahoe Titanofa; (Picture Man)" by Chester A. Gibbs, 1885-1964 (Spelling unedited)

The little settlement of "Theodore," named after Theodore Roosevelt, consisted only of the family home, the farm buildings and the general store/post office.

William Henry's land, according to public record my wife and I researched in the Loving and Winkler County Courthouses, consisted of Section 18 of Block 27 and Sections 24 and 15 of Block 28 of the Public School Land. All these sections are in the northwestern corner of Winkler and the northeastern edge of Loving Counties, which would put the town of Wink southeast of Theodore, not vice-versa as in the Winkler County history quoted above.

Of William Henry's three sections, one had to be designated as his "home section" where his family made their home and the major improvements to the land. We suspect this was Section 18 of Block 27 in Winkler County. Once more quoting from Chester Gibbs's "Napahoe Titanofa:"

"I was sure they all knew who I was, but there were only a few that I knew. One young fellow in particular had been at Father's place quite often. He said he owned the section joining Father's home section on the north, and his section was between two of my sections. His was a railroad section, and the W people had had a tank and windmill on it for several years."

Chester's sections were 8 and 9 of Block 27, and 11 and 23 of Block 28, again according to Winkler and Loving County records. Section 18, Block 27 is the only one of William Henry's that is bounded on the north with land having Chester's sections on either side, but that land consists of two sections, not one: Sec. 12 of Block 28, and the adjacent Sec. 7 of Block 27. We suspect, but so far haven't had the opportunity to research, that both these sections belonged to Chester's friend referred to above. He was Roy Oates, the son of the resident manager of the W Ranch.

We love visiting Texas and can't wait to resume our research. We will keep you updated if we find more.

- Jack and Mary Helen Allen
July 29, 2004

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