a Pecan Shell
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
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.
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
County 1940s map showing Swearingen
From Texas state map #4335
Texas General Land Office
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