a Pecan Shell
Settlement had begun in the 1850s when a gristmill was established
by one Silas Christal. Christal and his neighbors sat in tranquility,
milling grist and swapping stories until the railroad arrived in
With typical arrogance, the railroad renamed the community Gerald
Ė the namesake being long forgotten. When it became time for a post
office, the residents were shocked and saddened to learn the name
was already in use.
and Denton banker W. A.
Ponder, who stepped forward to help out. His name was accepted by
postal authorities and in 1893, storekeeper C. N. Skaggs opened
the Ponder post office in his place of business.
H. F. Wakefield donated land for Ponderís first school in 1897 but
it wasnít until 1903 that the town was properly surveyed.
The Ponder State Bank and the Ponder Hotel opened in 1910 and a
waterworks was in place and operating by 1912, even though the population
was less than 100. In fact, the population was a mere 84 residents
in the early 1920s.
Rodeo began in 1939 and attracted attendees from all over the region.
Rationing during WWII
moved the event to Denton
, but after the war it moved back. Denton
had grown rather fond of hosting a rodeo and started its own in
1950. Ponder found out just how fickle the public can be. Dentonís
success caused Ponder to abandon their event.
Typically, Ponderís population was around 250. It dropped to 179
in the 1970s, but has since increased to 432 by 1990 and 507 by