|The former Tokio
Photo courtesy Jason
Penney, June 2002
| A ghost town
in Terry County
(sort of) between Big
Spring and Lubbock.
It's a little out of the way - which partially explains the population.
a Pecan Shell
Texas has two towns named Tokio (the now-antiquated spelling was correct
on maps of the day). The other Tokio
is now within the city limits of West,
Texas in McLennan
This Tokio was granted a post office in 1912. The former postmistress,
Mrs. H. L. Ware, is said to have named the town.
In 1929 Tokio had a population of only 15. Tokio kept its post office
and it's name - throughout WWII.
It record high population was in the 1940s with 125 people calling
Tokio home. The population of 60 has been more or less constant since
Early classes in
the Tokio area were held in the ranch house of the J Cross Ranch near
the turn of the century. In 1911, a school building was constructed
near the center of town (about 300 feet N), and classes were relocated.
Larger school buildings later were erected, once due to fire and twice
due to changing space needs. The school facilities continued to serve
the community's educational as well as religious and civic needs until
1941 when Tokio School was consolidated with the Brownfield Independent
with Tokio, TX Sept. 2, 1945 postmarkan
"An interesting cover postmarked on the day of the signing of
the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. The name
connection was too much for one patriotic American to resist."
John J. Germann Collection
While reading about Tokio, I noticed some conflict of information
concerning the closing of the school. I was supposed to begin school
at Tokio in September of 1946, but the school closed at the end
of the school year 1945-1946. As a result my mother almost cried
because I had to ride the school bus the longer distance to the
school instead of the two miles to Tokio. (You remember things like
your mother being upset when you are young.) Anyway, that is what
I remember. - Thanks, Dennis Richardson, March 05, 2011
Champ of Tokio, Texas
I was born in 1933 and I started to school in Tokio in 1939. We
then moved to Wellman and in 1942, we moved back to Tokio. We lived
about 2 miles east of town. I went to school there for 2 more years
( 1942 and 1943 ) and then my parents transferred me to Plains
in January of 1944. Tokio consolidated with Brownfield.
Grades 1 through 8 went to Tokio and grades 9 through 12 went to
Brownfield. I don't know why the [historical marker] is not right,
but I know what I am telling you is correct.
When I went to school at Tokio, marbles was popular game for kids
to play. I am bragging, but I was the BEST marble player around.
So much for that. Ha Ha. I see where my cousin LeRoyce has sent
you a message. He is absolutely correct in his statements. He told
about one person riding a horse to school. The name of the person
was Roland Pair. He and his brother James would also bring an old
donkey to school for people to ride. If you pulled on the hair of
the donkey, he would buck. It's real hard to ride a donkey when
he bucks, but it was fun. THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS. - G.W. Brantley,
Buckscratc@aol.com, June 12, 2007
The Tokio school was not shut down in 1941 (as stated in the historical
marker). There are a lot of people that went to school at Tokio
during that time frame (30s - 40s). In fact one of them rode a horse
to school part of the time and tied it in the outhouse.
I was born in 1935 and started school at Tokio in 1941. I went through
1st grade there 1941-1942 and then 2nd and third grade at Plains
in Yoakum County.
I went through the 4th grade 1944-1945 at Tokio and then 5th & 6th
grade at Gomez
in Terry County.
I went through the 7th grade at Brownfield,
and finished the rest of my schooling at Plains
in Yoakum County.
Tokio just had 1st through 4th grades. Gomez
had grades 1st through 6th, then you had to go to Brownfield.
We still lived at Tokio but all our friends went to Plains
because they had moved the Plains
ISD from the county line two miles east to Tokio. We lived 2 miles
east of Tokio. Our folks had to pay the state fee the first year
for us to transfer after that the state payed the transfer fee.
Our folks took us to Tokio to catch the school bus. Back then they
had a mail car that ran from Brownfield
to over into New Mexico. The car was a limousine that also carried
passengers. We rode home in the mail car from Plains
in the afternoon. - LeRoyce, Gorman, Texas, March 26, 2007
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