Photo courtesy Ken
Rudine, July 2006
a Pecan Shell
town was once part of the JA Ranch (see Goodnight)
until the ranch was split up in 1887. Robert E. Montgomery, landowner
took advantage of a site that was briefly the terminus for the Fort
Worth and Denver City Railway. A townsite was platted and Montgomery
named the town for D. W. Washburn, a railroad officer. Perhaps because
of his act, the railroad dug two water wells and built a depot and
section house. When tracks were laid (1888) to the town of Panhandle
(Carson County), Washburn became a boom town - becoming a hub of activity.
A post office was granted that year and a combination school / church
was built a year later.
In 1890 Washburn and Claude competed
for the Armstrong
county seat. Washburn lost the election. Between it's proximity
to Amarillo and
it's lost status, Washburn fell into an immediate decline.
The town may have been down, but it wasn't out. They received a telephone
connection to Amarillo
in the mid-1890s 1896 and a bank was established and a church built.
The population remained at just 25 people for decades - from the 30s
through the 50s - the decade when the post office closed. By the mid
1960s it had increased to an estimated 100 people but declined to
70 not long after.
Today the town is marked by the grain elevator - but not much else.
( On US 287, at western city limits)
Town of Washburn
Planned by R. E.
Montgomery, son-in-law of Fort Worth & Denver City Railway Builder-President
Gen. G. M. Dodge. Named for family friend. Promoted 1887, Washburn
for a time was F.W. & D.C. Line's terminus. It had first newspaper
on Plains-- "Armstrong County Record". Also had general store, lumber
yard, 2 hotels, 2 saloons. Became junction point, branch line connecting
F.W. & D.C. with Santa Fe Railway at Panhandle. Remaining as town
dwindled: Judge Jas. Logue, donor cemetery site and founder Washburn
State Bank, 1908; H. E. White, owner of store, lumber yard and elevators.
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact
postal map (Texas State map #2090) showing Washburn in NW corner of
near Carson County
Texas General Land Office