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Lynn County TX
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DRAW, TEXAS

Lynn County, Texas Panhandle / West Texas

FM 213 and 1054
17 miles SE of Tahoka the county seat
25 Miles SW of Post
31 Miles NE of Lamesa
46 miles SE of Lubbock
About 65 miles N of Big Spring
Population: 39 (2000)

Draw, Texas Area Hotels:
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Draw, Texas - Draw Methodist Church
Photo courtesy Regina Crutcher, 2003
Draw and the Draw Methodist Church
by Regina Barnes Crutcher

Draw Texas Topics

  • “Out of Time”: An Informal History of Draw, Texas
  • Draw Methodist Church next page
  • Draw-Redwine Memorial

  • History in a Pecan Shell

    Named after the nearby canyon called Mooar's Draw, the community has always been under populated. Earlier figures aren’t available, but the 1933 count was a mere 25 residents. Somehow, the town gained population during the Great Depression, reporting 100 for the 1940 census. It remained at 100 through 1960 but dropped to just 35 in 1970. From 1980 through 2000 it reported 39 residents.
    Draw TX - Cotton Gin
    Cotton Gin in Draw
    Photo courtesy Rick Vanderpool, 2010
    More Cotton & Cotton Gins

    Photographer's Note:
    Draw - Out-drawn by economy for sure, but very nice cemetery, as evidenced by the Vets monument... Gin does not appear to be operational... And the wheat fields grew all around, all around, and the wheat fields grew all around... - Rick Vanderpool, June 10, 2010


    History of Draw, Texas
    Excerpted from

    “Out of Time”: An Informal History of Draw, Texas

    by Nolan Porterfield

    In its heyday sixty years ago in the late 1940s, Draw, Texas was a bustling, if not exactly thriving, little village of perhaps 200 people. It boasted two general stores, a blacksmith shop, one or two cafes (depending on the season of the year), a cotton gin, a small lumberyard, a Methodist church, a large six-room redbrick schoolhouse with an auditorium/gymnasium, and at least a dozen proper residential buildings, along with various lesser dwellings -- railroad boxcars and a tin shanty or two -- that housed gin workers and itinerants. Both general stores also doubled as gas stations and carried a stock of hardware goods, livestock feed, and small farm implements. To one was attached an ice house, for the summertime storage (but not manufacture) of block ice, which was transported from the ice plant in Tahoka. Later a second gin was built, adjacent to the first and operated by the same company, and in the fall ginning sometimes went on twenty-four hours a day for several months, from September until December. In those years of bumper cotton crops in the late 1940s, one or another itinerant tent movie operations appeared at the beginning of the harvest season and set up on some lot near the gin, showing old cowboy movies and catering to both locals and the hordes of Mexican-American families who flocked into the community to pick cotton each fall.

    Today, Draw is a ghost town. The gins and all the other businesses (and many houses) are gone; perhaps a dozen people live there, mostly in trailers scattered among the ruins.

    For many years, I felt sure that the origins of Draw were lost in the mists of history. It was never incorporated or ever big enough to support (or need) a newspaper or directory. In light of the general settlement pattern on the High Plains, I simply assumed that it had its beginnings around the time of World War I, and that anyone who might know its history was long dead. I was wrong on both counts.

    One can only wonder what life must have been like there a hundred years ago, when Lynn County -- named for an Alamo defender -- rose from the sovereignty of the generic Texas soil and was organized into a political and governmental unit in 1903. (The county was created, but not organized or settled, in 1876, coincidental with the adoption of the constitution which governs Texas to this day. Prior to that time, the region which became Lynn County had been a part of the Bexar District, whose capital was San Antonio, some 300 miles away.) Growing up there forty years later, during World War II, when the population was at its peak and the little hamlet of Draw flourished, I can attest to the fact that life even then was a rather lonesome and desolate and primitive business -- no paved roads, electricity or telephones, scarcely any indoor plumbing. On my grandparents’ farm, four and a half miles southeast of Draw, a single cold-water pipe brought “gyp” water from the windmill into the kitchen for cooking purposes. Even that was a rare exception. (“Gyp” water was bitter and full of healthy but vile-tasting minerals; our drinking water came from a rainwater cistern, drawn up one cedar bucket at a time and placed on the kitchen counter with a chipped porcelain dipper. Until well after World War II, the toilet was “the little house behind the house”; baths were taken in the kitchen in a Number 2 washtub, with water heated on the cookstove.)

    What then must the first settlers have found when a few scattered families began to arrive around the turn of the 20th century? I asked that question of my dear friend Fern Barnes, who has lived there most of her eighty years. She said “Grass and rocks.” (It surely hadn’t changed much when her familiy moved there in 1926.) To grass and rocks, one can add a fairly thick sprinkling of mesquite trees -- although, to borrow what a Faulkner character once said of willow trees, “a mesquite ain’t a tree, it’s a weed.” In my time, mesquites were mostly confined to farmers’ pasture lands and the Double U ranch not far away. With the arrival of the first settlers, arable land was soon “broken out” and put into cultivation for cotton and maize. I grew up with the notion -- now apparently erroneous -- that the high plains of Texas were originally covered in grass so tall that the Spanish explorers, to find their way in and out, had to mark their routes with high wooden poles -- the fabled Llano Estacado, or Staked Plain. Now my friend Andy Wilkinson, who is an authority on all things West Texan, tells me that it was a mistake. “Estacado,” it seems, was a misspelling of “Estancado,” which means merely “stockaded,” an allusion to the high vertical walls of the Caprock when approached from the lowlands to the east. Besides, as Andy rightly points out, where would the Spanish have found wood for stakes? Except for the scrubby native mesquites, the Plains were essentially treeless until settlers came and planted elms and cottonwoods and such.

    The earliest evidence of Draw’s existence comes not from contemporaneous records but from the memories of those who, fifty years later, contributed to a history of the Methodist Church there. As early as 1901, there existed a small building used as a school house and located some one and a half miles northwest of the present location of Draw. About 1904, this building was moved to a site three and a half miles northeast of present Draw and became known as “Moore’s Draw School House,” apparently taking its name from a geographical feature and the otherwise unknown settler named Moore (possibly spelled “Mooar”) who was identified with it. How “Moore’s Draw” was shortened and moved to its present location is unknown; one can only assume that soon afterwards there were the stirrings of some sort of commercial activity at the crossroads of what are now the small highways designated FM (Farm-to-Market) 213 and 1054, and those who used “Moore’s Draw School House” as both school and church decided that was the place to be. Obviously, the shorter version of the name followed along.

    In any event, a small one-room school house was erected there in the fall and winter of 1906-1907 (the name was now simply “Draw School House”). It also served as a meeting place for various religious denominations, the most prominent and active of which were the Methodists. In March 1907, a Methodist Church was formally organized, with seven charter members, five of whom were Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Waller and their three daughters. The others were Mrs. J. N. (“Kittie”) LeMond and Mrs. R. A. Duckworth. Very soon other newly-arriving settlers increased their ranks: the families of J. W. Luttrell, D. A. Shook, and D. N. Sewell, among others.

    In a memoir completed not long before his death in 1998, my uncle, Bruce Porterfield, described what his family found when they moved to a farm three miles southeast of Draw in late 1923 (he was then thirteen):

    Draw, Texas, at that time was something less than a Wide Place in the Road, as it was sometimes called. On the east side of the road [now Farm Road 1054] was Clarence Jackson’s grocery store. Behind the store was the house he and his family lived in. And at some distance away [to the south], the cotton gin. On the west side was the John Berry house. Further south was the Methodist Church with its parsonage, and beyond those the school house.
    Draw TX Store
    The Store
    Photo courtesy Rick Vanderpool, 2010
    More Texas Stores
    When we arrived at Draw it was “The Store.” No one ever said, “We’re going to Draw.” It was “to The Store,” which stood on the edge of a draw, whence the name. The draw was no more than a large shallow depression in the flat plain. This was the Llano Estacado, where the Spanish explorer found nothing he wanted except sticks to mark his way out. The Store owed its existence to the presence of the cotton gin, and the fact that it was twelve miles to either of the two towns [O’Donnell and Tahoka] in Lynn County.

    Bruce was writing more than sixty years after he left the community, during which time he had returned on only two or three occasions. While I am grateful to him for that explanation of the name, I have to take some issue with it, or at least attempt a fuller explanation. I know of nothing even vaguely resembling a legitimate “draw” which The Store might have stood on the edge of, although Bruce was correct in describing it as “more than a shallow depression in the flat plain.” The depression was (is) somewhat oblong, roughly a mile and a quarter north to south and three-quarters of a mile east to west. Rather than standing on the “edge” of this would-be draw, Jackson’s store and all the other buildings that would eventually make up Draw were in fact situated rather near center of the depression. There is a crossroad just north of where The Store stood, and the roads leading away in all four directions pass up a slight rise. I believe we thought of them as “hills” when I was a boy but they would be hills only to plains dwellers who never saw anything that could properly be called a hill.

    © Nolan Porterfield
    January 25, 2005
    Draw, Texas - 1907 Draw Methodist Church
    Draw Methodist Church
    Photo courtesy Rick Vanderpool, 2010
    Draw, Texas - 1907 Draw Methodist Church sign
    Photo courtesy Regina Crutcher, 2003
    Draw and the Draw Methodist Church
    by Regina Barnes Crutcher

    Draw-Redwine Memorial, Draw, Texas
    Draw-Redwine Memorial
    Photo courtesy Jimmie Crawford of Lubbock Texas
    and Ethel Giles of Aurora Colorado, 8-2004

    Draw-Redwine Memorial

    I am a grandson of Truett and Ethel Mae Giles, who are Draw/Redwine natives (my Grandmother's maiden name is Crawford). My Grandmother recently attended the dedication service for the new Draw-Redwine Memorial and returned with some pictures of the new memorial. She, along with her brother, were hoping to get a picture of the memorial loaded onto your Draw, Texas page. - Attached is the image of the memorial. - Ryan McIntyre, August 18 & 30, 2004

    Draw, Texas Forum
    Thank you for adding my "history" to the Draw page. Kudos to you for this website. I find it especially moving that you would devote time and effort to such an obscure (and mostly vanished) little burg as Draw, and I express gratitude on behalf of all of us who once lived in or even passed through that little hamlet and now years later find it embedded in our fond memories.- Cordially, Nolan Porterfield, February 20, 2005

    Take a road trip

    Draw, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Tahoka the county seat
    Post
    Lamesa
    Lubbock
    Big Spring
    See Lynn County | Texas Panhandle | West Texas

    Book Hotel Here:
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    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, landmarks and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


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