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MATADOR, TEXAS

Motley County Seat, Texas Panhandle
State Hwy 70
U.S. Hwys 62/70
32 miles W of Paducah
31 miles E of Floydada
80 miles NE of Lubbock

Population 740 (2000) 790 (1990)

Matador, Texas Area Hotels
Lubbock Hotels | Plainview Hotels
Matador Ranch cowboys, Matador, Texas
Matador Ranch cowboys enjoying a catered meal
Photo courtesy Paul Cloyd
Motley county was named after Dr. Junius Mottley (2 Ts) a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence who was killed at San Jacinto.

History in a Pecan Shell:
1879: Matador Ranch founded
1886: Post Office opened under the name Matador
1891: Ranch Manager sponsored cowboys to set up businesses (for one day) to insure compliance with the General Land Office's requirement that county seats have 20 registered businesses.
1893: The county voted for prohibition
1894: Courthouse burns and Sheriff Joe Beckman (a former Matador Ranch cowboy) turns up missing
1896: Townspeople upset at Matador Ranch's domination vote out civic leaders that are ranch puppets
1900: The resourceful anti-ranch faction moves in 40 families from Erath County to vote for town interests
1912: Matador is incorporated
1913: The Motley County Railroad appears
1940: The population reaches its high water mark of 1,302

Matador's Endangered Buildings
Motley County Courthouse
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Motley County Jail
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Matador TX City Hall Water Tower
Matador City Hall and water tower
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2007
Matador TX Mural Courthouse Square
Mural on the side of a building on the Courthouse square.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2007

Matador Attractions and Landmarks

  • Motley County Courthouse
  • The Motley County Historical Museum - Early ranch and farm life, and the history of the Matador Land and Cattle Co.
    Housed in the Traweek Hospital Building at Dunee and Bundy Streets. 806-347-2651
  • Derrick atop Bob's Oil Well station in Matador, Texas
    Derrick atop Bob's Oil Derrick Service Station in Matador
    Photo courtesy Wes Reeves, 2007

    Matador's Endangered Buildings

    Matador has several buildings on the Historic Commission's Endangered Buildings List.
  • Bob's Oil Derrick Service Station c. 1940
  • The Traweek Hospital Building c. 1928
  • Matador Hardware and Supply c. 1916
  • The First National Bank Building date unk.
  • Spot Grocery Downtown Matador Texas
    "Downtown Matador showing an abandoned grocery store, completely open to the elements. Locals pass by without so much as a second glance." - Wes Reeves, 2007 photo
    Matador Texas Spot Grocery interior
    Spot Grocery Interior - Photo courtesy Wes Reeves, 2007
    Motley County History
    A Family Story
    Motley County Sheriff William Thomas Billy Cloyd


    William Thomas "Billy" Cloyd

    Sheriff of Motley County
    November 1896 to November 1900
    Photo Courtesy Paul Cloyd
    "My great grandfather William Thomas “Billy” Cloyd was sheriff of Matador, Texas and also worked on the Matador Ranch.

    His first wife was Floyd Mary Nelson, from Floydada, and they were married Dec. 24,1891. They had five children: Willie Gertrude, Sam Bedford, (my grandfather), Hattie M., Annabelle, and Chester.

    Floyd Mary Cloyd died March 16, 1902.

    His second wife was Ava Martin, from Motley Co., and they were married July 30,1903.

    William Cloyd died six months later in January, 1904.

    William Cloyd was a Mason and his last wish was that his children be placed in the Masonic Orphanage in Fort Worth.

    Thomas, Floyd and Ava are in the Matador cemetery side by side.

    I have been to the grave sites and also been through the old jail where they lived. The living quarters were downstairs and the jail was upstairs. My grandfather had told me about living in the jail when he was a little boy and watching his dad hang men from a trap door in the ceiling. Sure enough, when I visited the jail there was the trap door."
    - Paul Cloyd, August 15, 2004
    Matador TX 1891 Limestone Motley County Jail
    1891 Limestone Motley County Jail, Matador TX
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2007
    Matador Texas Forum
  • Subject: Motley County Jail
    All the stories I heard as a boy growing up in Matador had it that no one was actually ever hanged in the Jail. It is true that the trap door is there. - Earle Price, May 22, 2005
  • Motley County Tx - Tee Pee City Historical Markers
    Ghost town Tee Pee City markers on roadside park 10 miles east of Matador
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009

    Matador, Texas Area Destinations:
    Quitaque
    Matador
    Amarillo

    Lubbock
    Plainview

    More Texas Towns & Hotels:
    Texas Town List
    Texas Ghost Towns
    Texas
    Texas Hotels

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

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