TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
Custom Search
New   |   Texas Towns   |   Ghost Towns   |   Counties   |   Trips   |   Features   |   Columns   |   Architecture   |   Images   |   Archives   |   Site Map

Donley  County
Donley County


Texas Towns
A - Z

Amarillo Hotels

Clarendon Hotels

More Hotels

JERICHO, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Donley County, Texas Panhandle

On Route 66

Intersection of Texas Hwy. 70 & I-40, Exit 124
11 miles W of Alanreed
22 miles W of McLean
8 miles E of Groom
NW of Clarendon the county seat
50 miles E of Amarillo
Population: 0 to unknown

Book Hotel HereAmarillo Hotels

Home of "Jericho Gap" of Route 66 Fame

by Delbert Trew


Jericho was founded in the late 1880s as a mail coach stop to change horses and feed any passengers aboard. The faint tracks led across bare prairie from Saint's Roost (modern day Clarendon) to Fort Elliott (today's Mobeetie). Composed of a dugout with drinking water hauled in wooden barrels from a nearby spring, settlers began to gather as the Indians were removed to reservations after the Red River Wars ended in the late 1870s.

The Jericho Cemetery was established in 1894 after an unusual outbreak of Malaria killed several settlers. The cause was traced to stagnant water at the spring where drinking water was obtained. Improvements to the facility were made eliminating the stagnant water.

Construction started in 1900 on a railroad track built by the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Texas Railroad Company. Most local settlers and their stock teams worked on the construction project. The first official train ran on July 6, 1902. Cattle loading facilities were constructed to accommodate nearby large ranches and a huge water storage reservoir was built by the railroad to refill steam engines and provide water for people and livestock. Many of the settlers came to the new settlement by emigrant cars pulled by the steam engines.

Jericho became famous in legend and folklore after Congress authorized a new coast-to-coast highway in 1926, calling it Route 66. Its passage through Jericho added prosperity with several gas stations, stores and a motel built to serve the travelers.

The main reason for fame came from the stretch of highway between Alanreed and Groom which went through Jericho. Called "Jericho Gap" any rains caused the dirt roads to turn into black-gumbo-mud becoming almost impassible to the vehicles of the time. Nearby farmers made a good living with their teams of work horses pulling the travellers from the mud holes. Legend has it that the enterprising farmers hauled water at night to dump in the mud holes to prolong their source of income.

With the railroad, Route 66 and well-traveled Highway 70 going through their town, citizens of Jericho believed their fair town was destined for greatness. In the 1930s, Route 66 was moved one-half mile north, by-passing the town and spelling doom for its future.

Today, Jericho is a ghost town, with one occupied home amid scattered ruins, cement foundations and piles of junk.


Delbert Trew




Jericho TX Donley County 1906 Postmark

Jericho TX Donley County 1906 Postmark

Cover cancelled with Jericho, TX 1906 postmark
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection

Donley County TX 1907 Postal Map
Donley County 1907 postal map showing Jericho
NW of Clarendon
From 1907 Texas state map #2090

Courtesy Texas General Land Office


Take a road trip

Route 66
Texas Panhandle

Jericho, Texas Nearby Towns:
Clarendon the county seat
Alanreed
McLean
Groom
Claude
Amarillo
See Donley County

Book Hotel Here:
Amarillo Hotels | Clarendon Hotels | More Hotels

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Texas Escapes Online Magazine »   Archive Issues » Home »
TEXAS TOWNS & COUNTIES TEXAS LANDMARKS & IMAGES TEXAS HISTORY & CULTURE TEXAS OUTDOORS MORE
Texas Counties
Texas Towns A-Z
Texas Ghost Towns

TEXAS REGIONS:
Central Texas North
Central Texas South
Texas Gulf Coast
Texas Panhandle
Texas Hill Country
East Texas
South Texas
West Texas

Courthouses
Jails
Churches
Schoolhouses
Bridges
Theaters
Depots
Rooms with a Past
Monuments
Statues

Gas Stations
Post Offices
Museums
Water Towers
Grain Elevators
Cotton Gins
Lodges
Stores
Banks

Vintage Photos
Historic Trees
Cemeteries
Old Neon
Ghost Signs
Signs
Murals
Gargoyles
Pitted Dates
Cornerstones
Then & Now

Columns: History/Opinion
Texas History
Small Town Sagas
Black History
WWII
Texas Centennial
Ghosts
People
Animals
Food
Music
Art

Books
Cotton
Texas Railroads

Texas Trips
Texas Drives
Texas State Parks
Texas Rivers
Texas Lakes
Texas Forts
Texas Trails
Texas Maps
USA
MEXICO
HOTELS

Site Map
About Us
Privacy Statement
Disclaimer
Contributors
Staff
Contact Us

 
Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved