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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Panhandle :

COTTON CENTER, TEXAS

Hale County, Texas Panhandle
FM 179 and FM 37
About 14 Miles S of Hale Center
27.5 Miles SW of Plainview

Population: 205 (1990 and 2000)

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Cotton Center TX City Limit
Cotton Center City Limit
Photo courtesy Eric Turner
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History in a Pecan Shell

Developed by ranchers in the late 19th Century, things really started moving in 1907 when the Santa Fe Railroad built the Plainview line through Hale County. This created an influx of new settlers who moved from East Texas and Oklahoma.

With settlers came children and with children came schools. Cotton Center jelled as a community in 1925 when three local schools* merged. It was that same year that J.C. Brown, local businessman, platted the town and named the community. The naming may have been influenced by Brown’s ownership of a cotton gin.

It wasn’t until 1935 when the town got a post office and that same year Cotton Center drilled the first water well used for irrigation. Many more wells were drilled after WWII exploiting the resources of the Ogallala aquifer.

The community was struck by a tornado in June of 1965, causing some damage but sparing the commercial district. There was one fatality with three residents injured.

Schooling continued to be the town’s focus since the district covered approximently 130 square miles.

First population figures come from the 1980s when 260 residents were reported. It has since declined to 205, the figures given for both the 1990 and 2000 census.
Cotton Center TX 79021
Cotton Center, TX 79021
Photo courtesy Eric Turner
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Cotton Center TX - Cotton Center Elks
Cotton Center Elks
Photo courtesy Eric Turner of Plainview
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