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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Panhandle / Hill Country : Whon

WHON, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Coleman County, Panhandle / Hill Country
"Touched by a Ranch Hand"

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About 12 miles south of Santa Anna going toward Brady on Hwy 283 you'll see the sign for Whon. Being only four letters it's easy to miss. If you pass the Colorado River you've gone too far.
Whon Texas drive through post office
What was once thought to be the geographic center of Texas and was in fact, the country's only drive-in post office.
TE photo 2000
Whon Texas former post office
The same building in April 2007
Photo Courtesy Bruce D. White

History in a Pecan Shell

The road to Whon was only paved in 1967. Whon is one of only a handful of Texas towns that is a misspelling of a ranch worker's name.

Mrs. Sam McCain, the postmistress, thought it would be nice if Juan (last name forgotten) had the Post Office named after him. Juan may have been flattered but he never corrected Mrs. McCain's spelling.

The town cemetery was created when Mrs. McCain's infant daughter drowned in a stock tank. Whon still had a ZIP code (76889) as of 2000, but we were unable to find the cemetery.

Our June, 2000 visit found that the building that was once known as "The Only Drive-In Post Office in the Country" was still standing. The outbuildings were bulldozed into a big heap.

A house in Whon Texas
The other 50% of Whon
TE photo 2000
"The second building is one of the former stores. It is is much worse shape, with the structure rotted and dangerously unstable." - Photo and caption courtesy Bruce D. White, April 11, 2007
Photographer's Note:
My family were pioneer settlers of Brown and Coleman Counties. This includes the Simmons and Fiveash families. My Great-grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Simmons II owned one of the original general stores in Whon and his brother, George Washington Simmons had a large farm south of Whon. I made a visit on 11 April 2007 to explore and record the area of my ancestry. What I found was a major change from the [2001] entry on Texas Escapes.

The Whon "Drive Through" Post Office is severally dilapidated and disintegrating. The front over hang has totally collapsed and the building is being used to store junk. It is weathered badly and will not last much longer.

The second building is one of the former stores. It is is much worse shape, with the structure rotted and dangerously unstable. It is filled with bales of rotting hay. I did find a very rusted Grape Nehi soft drink sign that had fallen off of it.

The little house is still there and boarded up, with a travel trailer parked behind.

The Whon Cemetery is in very nice shape, with the single exception of the covered portico is rotten and falling apart. - Bruce D. White, Austin, Texas, April 11, 2007
The Coleman County History book we consulted mentions Whon as being the geographic center of Texas. We don't mention this to stir up trouble with McCulloch County, we're just mentioning it. After we consulted the Handbook of Texas, we found that the discrepancy was due to a surveyor's 10-mile mistake. See Center City, Texas.

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John Troesser
Whon is featured in

Whon, Texas Forum

  • Subject: Whon Cemetery

  • For the Whon Cemetery location, coming from FM 2633 to the Whon Post Office (ex), you follow the paved road which would be to your right. Drive past the end of pavement and take the first right again. The Cemetery is about one-eighth of a mile from the corner. Work is being done to it at the present time. If things go as planned, the cemetery will be enclosed by new fencing and the entire area free of wild brush. Hopefully this will meet with interested parties' approval.

    Whon once had two gas stations, three churches, a school and a high school, a cotton gin, a barber shop, a laundromat and a grocery cum drug store along with its post office. It also had a Community Center and even a cafe when the gin was in operation. The community was thriving until the early forties when it began to dwindle gradually. Hence, Whon is no longer on any maps of recent printing. It has a population of between 30 and 35 citizens, not including cows or other animals. - Trudi Rutherford, June 22, 2001

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