in a Pecan Shell
No 19th Century history here except for the three ranches that would comprise
the future town of Fritch. J. M. Sanford, J. H. Johnson, and Roy B. Wright were
the ranchers – and as you can see – there isn’t a Fritch in that list. H. C. (Fred)
Fritch wasn’t a rancher, but a VP of the of the Rock Island Railroad, it was Fred
who arranged the purchase (1924) of the right-of-way, and therefore he was the
honored namesake. Fritch also platted the town in the early 1930s.
the 1920s Panhandle oil boom,
as many as five oil companies fought for leases and had field offices in Fritch.
But boom towns in the 30s weren’t what they were earlier. The town managed
to get through the Great Depression a bit easier than other towns, but the 1940
census only showed a population of 75.
With the proposed construction of
Sanford Dam and Lake Meredith,
Sanford incorporated in the late 1950s. In the
mid 1960s, when the Dam was completed and Lake
Meredith was rising, the town had already acquired nearly 3,000 new citizens.
and gas production fell in the late 1960s, dropping the population to 1,778 for
the 1970 census. The 1970s energy crisis ramped up oil activities in the region
and by 1980 the population had increased to nearly 2,300.
the National Park Service HQ for Lake
Meredith National Recreation Area and the Alibates Flint Quarries National
Monument is just across the county line in Potter County.
for 1990 was given as 2,335 declining slightly to 2,235 for the 2000 census.
Like many Texas towns, Fritch owed its existence
to the railroad... more
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