- SW of Blanket, visible from US 67
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, February 2010
a Pecan Shell
The simple and
(slightly) colorful account of the name comes from 1852. Blanket Creek
was supposedly named by surveyors who happened upon some Tonkawa Indians.
The account says the Indians had been caught in a storm and had spread
their blankets over bushes for protection. It's entirely possible
that they were simply drying their laundry - that's the trouble with
historians - they usually feel a need to include dramatic elements
As a community took shape on the banks of Blanket Creek, the name
was kept. A post office was established in 1875 in the existing store
of one Pinkney Anderson.
In 1891 the Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railroad extended its tracks
and Blanket left the creek banks to move to the rails.
In 1904 Blanket had a population of 304 which swelled to 472 by 1929.
During the Great Depression the population leveled off at 300 - a
figure it kept until the 1970s. Growth has been at a snail's pace,
but the town is happy to be adding people rather than subtracting
like most towns its size.
"Another great small Texas town to visit." - Barclay
Limit - Pop. 390
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, April 2015
states that Blanket Creek received its name in 1852, when a group
of surveyors came upon a band of Tonkawa Indians who had been caught
in a rainstorm while hunting buffalo. The Tonkawa spread their wet
blankets on the sumac bushes to dry, and the surveyors named the stream
Blanket Creek. Permanent settlement was sparse until Pinkney and Sarah
Anderson bought land from Almonta Huling in 1873, opening a general
store just southwest of the present town. Anderson’s store housed
the first Blanket post office in 1875, and the town became a stop
on the stagecoach route from Brownwood
to Fort Worth.
Robert Dickey was the first schoolteacher, beginning in a log building
in 1878 before a permanent schoolhouse was built with lumber hauled
from Fort Worth.
The 1880 U.S. census documented people from 18 states and the countries
of Jamaica, Norway and Prussia living here. In 1891, arrival of the
Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railway led T.A. Wilkinson to develop the
Blanket townsite company. W.T. Smith of Rockwell City, Iowa, became
company president and laid out a new townsite into blocks and lots;
Smith also served as immigration agent for the F.W. & R.G., founded
the Lone Star High School and College, and operated a mercantile store
in Blanket. Residents of the former village moved their homes and
businesses to the new townsite. Blanket continued to grow, with the
first bank opening in 1903 and the town incorporating in 1912. During
its peak of prosperity during the cotton era, three gins operated
here. David P. Cobb was Blanket’s town doctor for more than 62 years,
an example of the perseverance and tradition of a rural town that
has survived droughts and economic downturns to remain a viable community.
Courtesy Teri Brown historictexas.net
Harold Osman Kelly
Blanket's most famous resident was painter Harold Osman Kelly, who
moved from the Panhandle
to Blanket in 1939. Having been a shepherd, cowboy, sharecropper,
and occasional rodeo rider, he had a wealth of experience to paint
from. His talent for sketching was developed at an early age and he
once illustrated his favorite Charles Dicken's book, The Pickwick
Papers. ... more
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