|History in a Pecan
Established in 1906-07 development coincided with the arrival
of the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railroad. The town has three explanations
for the name: railroad stockholder, firstborn child or the combined first names
of Neal and Mary Doran. Neal Doran was an officer of the Orient Land Company who
set up the townsite (platted in 1908).
Storekeeper J. D. Roper opened
his business in 1906. An election in 1909 pitted established Sweetwater
over upstart Maryneal for Nolan County seat. Maryneal lost. Even with a railroad
connection, growth was nonexistent. The population was just enough to keep up
appearances. As late as 1940, the population was still a mere 100.
building of the Lone Star Cement Plant in 1951 probably prevented Maryneal from
becoming a ghost town. The 1980 population of 75 has since declined to 61.
(what there is of it) is dominated by the cement plant to it's north. Beyond what
is shown, there's not much more that a few scattered homes. The run down old home
is a few miles to the north east of town on the way to Sweetwater." - Mike
Price, December 08, 2007
Photo courtesy Mike