Lefors, Texas
Town
Nickname(s): Ghosttown
Location of Lefors, Texas
Location of Lefors, Texas
Gray County Lefors.svg
Coordinates: 35°26′20″N 100°48′13″W / 35.43889°N 100.80361°W / 35.43889; -100.80361Coordinates: 35°26′20″N 100°48′13″W / 35.43889°N 100.80361°W / 35.43889; -100.80361
Country United States
State Texas
County Gray
Government
   Mayor Michael Young
   Founded By Travis Leach, Perry LeFors, and Henry Thut, and Henry B. Lovett
Area
   Total 0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)
   Land 0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)
   Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 2,805 ft (855 m)
Population (2000)
   Total 559
   Density 1,416.5/sq mi (546.9/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
   Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 79054
Area code(s) 806
FIPS code 48-42148[1]
GNIS feature ID 1361049[2]
Abandoned Gas Station in Lefors

Lefors is a town in Gray County, Texas, United States. It is part of the Pampa, Texas Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 559 at the 2000 census.

History

The area around modern Lefors was near the heart of Comancheria and a common village site for the nomadic tribes of Comanche. One of the final encounters between the U.S. Army under the command of Ranald Slidell Mackenzie and remnants of various Comanche bands was fought near here September 29, 1872.

Lefors was founded in 1888 by Travis Leach, Perry LeFors, Henry Thut, and Henry B. Lovett. The town was named for Perry LeFors, who traveled with his father to the Panhandle in 1878 and later became foreman of the Diamond F Ranch, part of the White Deer Lands (Francklyn Land and Cattle Company). The first homestead (1882) on the future townsite was that of Travis Leach, a rancher and surveyor, whose log cabin served as a stagecoach stop on the mail route from Fort Elliott and Mobeetie to Tascosa. Henry B. Lovett, a former buffalo hunter, and Henry Thut, a Swiss immigrant whose sister-in-law, Emma Lang, married LeFors, also settled in the vicinity during the 1880s. George Henry Saunders had a ranch camp headquarters nearby.

Other settlers soon moved into the area, and in 1892 a post office was opened at Lefors with Thut as postmaster. (Postal officials required that the F be lowercased.) Four years later a combination school and church building was built. When Gray County was organized on May 27, 1902, Lefors was elected county seat. A two-story frame courthouse was built for less than $2,500, and Thut, who became the first county treasurer, erected a hotel. Perry LeFors served as the town's first constable. The population reached 150 in 1910, and despite its small size and the lack of a railroad, the town managed for a time to remain the county seat.

When the oil boom hit the county during the 1920s, three oil pools were discovered in the vicinity. Lefors profited from the boom, especially in real estate, the boom resulted in the establishment of an independent school district and the bringing of electricity and other modern utilities to the town.

By 1931 Lefors had incorporated, and in 1932 the town finally got a railroad, when the Fort Worth and Denver extended its line from Pampa. The population increased to 809 by 1940. Several Protestant denominations established churches in the community.

Eight people died when an early Spring snow storm stranded about 100 people in around fifty-five automobiles on the road between Pampa and Lefors on April 7 8, 1938. After between ten and twelve inches of snow fell in the Panhandle, with 50-mile an hour winds creating drifts of five to twenty-feet tall, men with farm tractors and heavy oil field equipment had to come to the rescue of the snowed in travelers, which included two school buses rescued by the army.[3][4][5][6]

The town suffered a flood in 1961, unemployment from the closure of several area carbon black plants in 1964, and a tornado in 1975. The town was nicknamed "Ghost Town" by its residents because of its small population and unoccupied run-down homes. Its population decreased dramatically.

Geography

Lefors is located at 35°26′20″N 100°48′13″W / 35.43889°N 100.80361°W / 35.43889; -100.80361 (35.438787, -100.803721)[7].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2), all of it land.

Lefors is on the North Fork of the Red River and State Highway 273, twelve miles southeast of Pampa in central Gray County

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 559 people, 231 households, and 154 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,416.5 people per square mile (553.4/km ). There were 290 housing units at an average density of 734.9 per square mile (287.1/km ). The racial makeup of the town was 97.32% White, 0.18% African American, 1.25% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.19% of the population.

There were 231 households out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.0% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 88.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $27,500, and the median income for a family was $38,594. Males had a median income of $28,611 versus $21,071 for females. The per capita income for the town was $13,165. About 8.3% of families and 9.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.7% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.

Education

The Town of Lefors is served by the Lefors Independent School District. However some Lefors children go to the Pampa Independent School District, in Pampa, Texas

Climate

According to the K ppen Climate Classification system, Lefors has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.[8]

References

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "100 Stranded In Texas Snowstorm", The Independent (Associated Press), April 8, 1938: 4 
  4. ^ "Rain, Snow Grip Nation", Reading Eagle (Associated Press), April 8, 1938: 2 
  5. ^ "Eight Lose Lives In Texas Blizzard", The New York Times, April 9, 1938: 3 
  6. ^ "100 Autoists Stranded In Texas Snowstorm", Hartford Courant, April 8, 1938: 4 
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ Climate Summary for Lefors, Texas

External links

Panoramio Photos