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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Panhandle :

TELL, TEXAS

Childress County, Texas Panhandle
FM 2042 and FM 96
About 12 Miles SW of Childress
13 Miles S of Estelline
Population: (est) 32

Tell, Texas Area Hotels
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Tell TX 79259
Tell TX 79259
Photo courtesy of Tony Hool, March 2007

The Two "Towns" of Tell

Childress County

Tell was founded in 1887 on what had been called "Tell-Tale Flat." A post office was granted under that name in 1888 and opened in the dugout home of postmistress Belle Garrison. But by 1905 postal authorities nixed the hyphenated name and shortened it to Tell. A store was opened in 1906, followed by a gin, grocery and drugstore. By 1916 the primary businesses were joined by others and the town had four churches. A bank was in operation from 1916 until its merger with a Childress bank in the Great Depression. Postwar prosperity drew population away from Tell and into Childress and other distant cities.

The school merged with the Childress ISD in the early 1960s, leaving the brick school to become a community center. 1984's population was a mere 59 people which later swelled to 63 for the 1990 Census.

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Tell Texas post office
Tell Post Office
Tell Texas telephone exchange
Telephone Exchange
Photos courtesy of Tony Hool, March 2007

Tell in Hall County

The Tell in Hall County was actually a post office established in the last half of the 1890s, at the home of Will and Clementine "Clemmie" Rothwell. The mail route extended from Childress to the Matador Ranch (See Matador), more or less following the route of present-day FM 96. The post office became an important personal link between cowboys and their familes back home. When the town of Tell (above) was established across the county line, the Hall County post office of Tell was closed on the next to the last day of the 19th Century.
Matador Ranch cowboys, Matador, Texas
Matador Ranch cowboys enjoying a catered meal
Photo courtesy Paul Cloyd
Tell, Texas Forum
Subject: Tell, TX
Dear TE, For years my father-in-law has held he was born in Tell, Texas in 1925. His daughter, my wife, is a traveling nurse. She took a position at Medical City of Dallas in January. Last week [my wife and I] took a road trip to the Panhandle to visit Tell. It is in Childress County about 10 miles south of the town of Childress. I noticed Tell does not appear on your list of Panhandle towns. Unfortunately we arrived in town after the post office had closed (operating hours are 8:00 AM til noon). There was no one available to get information on the town. Attached are photos of the post office and telephone exchange building [to share with your readers].
- Tony Hool, Dallas, Texas, April 02, 2007

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Childress County Texas 1940s map
1940s Childress County map showing Arlie, Loco, Carey, Tell and Kirland. Courtesy Texas General Land Office
Tell, Texas
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