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MANKINS, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Archer County, Texas Panhandle / Central Texas North

33 46' 56" N, 98 47' 50" W (33.782222, -98.797222)
Highways 277 and 82
19 Miles SW of Wichita Falls
Population: 25 est. (2010)

Mankins, Texas Area Hotels › Wichita Falls Hotels
Mankins Tx Mankins Baptist Church
Mankins Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
More Texas Churches

History in a Pecan Shell

The town began on a ranch belonging to Sam Lazarus. The Wichita Valley Railroad had extended a spur to the ranch headquarters (just north of the present-day site). Lazarus built a church and the railroad built a loading facility. It went by the name Lazarus Switch unil 1908 when the ranch was bought and a store and hotel built.

The new owner, Charles Mangold platted a townsite just south of the former ranch headquarters which was also home the ranch foreman (and storekeeper) Tom Mankins. Mangold was evidently a modest type, for he allowed the town he was building be named for Mr. Mankins.

The 1914 population has been given as 55 residents. Mankins had an nearby oil discovery in the 1920s, but nothing remotely approaching the oil booms of other towns. There was no population explosion and the 85 residents that lived there in the late 20s remained in place through the Great Depression. The town spent some of its oil revenue on a large two story brick building that served as high school, church and community center until it was destroyed in a 1938 tornado.

The 1950 census reported 120 residents and by the early 1960s, the town had lost its post office. The population had dropped to a mere 50 at the close of the 1960s. The Mangold estate still owned much of the original plat preventing growth.

Mankins was once the wintering grounds for The D. S. Dudly Show, a multi-generational circus / carnival, into the 1970s.

The 1990 population of 45 has declined to an estimated 25 Mankanites by the year 2000. Mankins is included in More Ghost Towns of Texas.


The Unfortunate Chimp/Auto Collision in Mankins

"My wife is a teacher in Wichita Falls and works with the Pastor at the Mankins Baptist Church. Once while visiting the church I was speaking with an old-timer that had lived in Mankins his whole life. He told me that Mankins was the only place in Texas that a Chimpanzee had been killed by an automobile. This of couse peaked my imagination and interest so I had to ask how. He said the Dudley show folks lived there and apparently had some animals. The Chimpanzee got loose, ran out onto the highway and along came a semi. As you can imagine, the rest is history.

I'm sure there are many strange stories y'all hear but this Chimp story goes along with the true (yes I googled it and found an article on it) about an Elephant being killed by a train in Wichita Falls (just about 20 miles east of Mankins). How does an Elephant get killed by a train? In Wichita Falls, TX? You have to google it yourself. You should be able to find it since the article is on your website!" - Michael A. Mitchell, Wichita Falls, TX, April 28, 2011

A Drive Around Mankins

Mankins Tx Circus Truck
Lost innocence
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
Mankins Tx Wild West Circus D.S. Dudley Show Historical Marker
Wild West Circus D.S. Dudley Show Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
Mankins Tx Circus Dudley Show Headquarter
D.S. Dudley Show Headquarters?
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
Mankins Tx Circus Dudley Show  Kiddie Land clown sign
Durable balloons
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
Mankins Tx Dudley Show Circus Ride Parts
Unridden rides
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
Mankins Tx Dudley Show Circus Equipment
Is this the end of Kiddie Land?
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
Mankins Tx Closed Garage
Experiment in weathering No. 36942
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
Mankins Tx Circus Dudley Show Headquarter  red tiled roof Rock building
Stone and tile
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
Mankins Tx
Photo courtesy Dusty Martin, September 2017
Mankins Tx
Photo courtesy Dusty Martin, September 2017
Mankins Tx tin building
Photo courtesy Dusty Martin, September 2017

Mankins TX Archer Co 1935 Post office info
Mankins TX Archer Co 1935 Postmark
Cover canceled with Mankins TX 1935 postmark
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection
TX Archer  County 1940s Map
Archer County 1940s map showing Mankin
(from Texas state map #4335)

Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Mankin, Texas Area Towns:
Archer City | Wichita Falls | Vernon
See Archer County
More Texas Panhandle | Central Texas North

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Wichita Falls Hotels | More Hotels

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