in a Pecan Shell
Named for ranch owner D. D. Swearingen, the town come into being around 1908 as
headquarters for the OX Ranch.
A post office went into operation in 1898
and the postmaster George W. Hare bought most of the lots put up for sale. He
then established a drugstore, figuring to capture the Ranch trade. His plan paid
off and both Hare and the town prospered.
By 1911 Swearingen had the
post office, a bank, a livery, a hardware store, a lumberyard, several stores
and a hotel. A school shared space with a church until a separate schoolhouse
could be built (1913). That year was a busy one for the town. It became a shipping
point on the new Quanah, Acme and Pacific Railroad and suffered two considerable
The OX Ranch desolved in 1930 and the town declined in kind. By
1940 there was only one business to serve the remaining 115 people who lived there.
The post office closed in 1954 and by 1970 only a few houses remained.
A cemetery remains and is shown on detailed county maps, although it appears
with no name.
Cottle County map showing Swearingen|
(Between "L" and "E"
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
The farmhouse shown on your website belonged to my grandparents – John Tannahill
and Nora Stockton Tannahill. And my sister and I grew up going to that house as
a weekend getaway from our home in Wichita
Falls, TX. It never did have running water – but did get electricity. We also
had butane. Our mother, Laura Tannahill Doing, often talked about how the school
teacher would live in one of the downstairs rooms of the house. John Tannahill
was a ranch manager and also had the grocery store in Swearingen. Nora Stockton
Tannahill taught piano – there’s mention in the book about the QA&P railroad coming
to Swearingen about my grandmother bringing her piano with her as a young bride.
It’s an old upright Adam Schaff that sits in my living room in Atlanta, GA today.
My great aunt – Thena Stockton Evans – was also the postmistress in Swearingen
in later years. My mother had one brother, John Tannahill, a wonderfully gifted
artist who was a pilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress and was killed in January, 1944.
Mother graduated from Paducah High School (as did her brother), and also worked
at times for the Paducah Post. During the years she was in college at TWU (Texas
State College for Women), my grandmother went back to teaching school as it was
during the Depression. I was glad to find your information. Mother passed away
November 16, and I’m trying to get information to the Paducah Post. Do you have
any contact information for them? - Thanks, Larrie Doing Kontz, Atlanta, GA,
December 07, 2006
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic
photos of their town, please contact