in a Pecan Shell
Annie Graham, daughter
of pioneer settler J. M. Keen is the town’s namesake. Keen was an
ex-Confederate who started ranching and amassed a herd estimated to
number 1,500. Cattle needs to go to market and in 1908 Anarene was
founded alongside the tracks of the Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad.
The town was a cooperative effort between the railroad and Charlie
Graham with help from J. H. Kemp and Frank Kell, two of the most successful
men in the county (and railroad board members).
Anarene was platted and received a post office as well as a two-story
hotel. Success seemed guaranteed. Facilities for handling the cattle
were builtincluding dipping vats, pens and loading ramps. A
demand for beef during WWI
drew thousands of head from Anarenesome of the steers selling
for over $300 a heada record price.
In 1929 with a population estimated at 100, Anarene never realized
its potential. The Great Depression hit the town hard and in 1933
it was reported there were only 20 residents left. The town lost its
post office and the railroad station in the mid 1950s.
Anarene was the
name they gave to Archer
City as being the town in 'The Last Picture Show'. - Mike
E. Graham (1872-1937) in 1908 granted the Wichita Falls and Southern
Railroad a route across his property and platted a town at this site.
Anarene was named for his wife Annie Lawrence Graham, daughter of
pioneer cattleman J. Marion Keen. Graham built a hotel and obtained
a post office, cattle pens, dipping vat and other facilities. The
town schoolhouse was used for religious services. In 1921 oil was
discovered nearby. A refinery was built in 1938. When oil production
ceased and the trains stopped running in 1954, Anarene quickly declined.
County 1940s map showing Anarene
(from Texas state map #4335)
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
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