in a Pecan Shell
Like the old saying goes: "If you find Medicine Mound - you had to
have been looking for it." It's not that it's difficult to find -
since it still appears on the state map - it's just that it is on
a long extended spur off of Highway 287. (FM 91 on the east and FM
1167) on the west. The mountains that comprise the mounds are visible
from Highway 287. There are actually four elevations that rise 200-250
feet above the landscape. These are natural mounds that were held
sacred by the Comanches.
The older Medicine Mound community that had been here prior to 1908
moved 2½ miles north to be alongside the tracks of the Kansas City,
Mexico and Orient Railway as it built through Hardeman
Medicine Mound was once a vibrant town with a respectable population
of 500 served by 22 businesses. A devastating fire in the early 30s
(arson) destroyed most of the town. By the end of the Great Depression
the population was 210 and the town still had 6 buildings left.
Today there are three - about the same number of historical markers.
The Medicine Mound school merged with Quanah's
district in the mid-1950s - about the same time the post office closed.
Click on photo for larger image.
Photo courtesy Ken
Rudine, July 2006
Mound Landmarks & Attractions:
Medicine Mound old photo courtesy Teresa Byrd, restored by John Bates
of this area were Comanche and Kiowa Indians whose campsites were
situated around four dolomite hills called Medicine Mounds and known
for their healing properties. In 1854, area land was deeded to a railway
company. Anglo settlers began to arrive in the 1870s. A small village
developed but was moved 2.5 miles north in 1908 when the Kansas City,
Mexico and Orient Railway was built. A townsite was platted that year
and was fully established by 1911. At its peak, Medicine Mound boasted
22 businesses and a population of 500. Economic hardships, the Great
Depression and a 1933 fire that burned the entire town were primary
forces in the town's eventual demise. The last business closed in
Hicks & Cobb General Merchandise Store
Photo courtesy Randy Hinsley, February 2011
Hicks & Cobb
General Merchandise Store
The townsite of
Medicine Mound had long been a thriving village when brothers-in-law
Lon L. Cobb and Ira Lee Hicks arrived in the area with their families
in 1927 and opened a general merchandise store. The store sold such
items as work clothes and clothing material, shoes, cotton sacks,
groceries and horse feed. Regular customers warmed themselves by the
fire in winter, indulging in conversation and checkers. In 1933 a
fire all but destroyed the townsite, but Hicks and Cobb rebuilt that
year with round granite cobblestones from Oklahoma. Lon L. Cobb died
in 1942. Hicks carried on and the store was among the last businesses
to serve area residents and migrant agricultural workers. Ira Lee
Hicks died in 1966; the structure became a community gathering place
and a Medicine
courtesy Geri Bates, 2006
|North side of
Photo courtesy Randy Hinsley, February 2011
|The W.W. Cole
Building, one of the two remaining building.
Photo courtesy Randy Hinsley, February 2011
|The W.W. Cole
Building in 2006
Photo courtesy Geri Bates
did all the people go?
Photo courtesy John Bates, 2006
Schoolhouse in 2016
about 50 yards off FM1167..."
Photo courtesy Clay Isbell, February 2016
Photo courtesy Clay Isbell, December 2012
The building pictured is indeed the Medicine Mound
School, which was closed around the mid to late 1940's. it was used
as a community meeting place until the early 1970's (approximately).
My father graduated from this school in 1942. Thanks for sharing!
- Emily Stone, March 12, 2013
"Hi TE! A few years ago I sent pics and a question about what
ultimately was identified as the schoolhouse in Medicine Mound. The
pictures were from a visit in 2012. I've returned a couple of times
since then, and I just visited on February 6th and was saddened by
what I saw. The entire top portion of the school has collapsed or
has been removed. I noticed the 2 trees that were in front of the
building are gone too, making me think that perhaps the removal was
intentional (maybe safety reasons?) or may have been cleaned up after
a storm. Anyway, it was still a shock to see this piece of history
in worse shape than before.
I've made it a habit to stop here when traveling to points further
west and will continue to do so. Hopefully things won't get any worse.
The rest of the town seems to be in the same shape as the last few
- Clay Isbell, February 12, 2016
"I've traveled Hwy 287 between Decatur and Dumas Texas for years
while heading to destinations further west and never really ventured
off the main highway until recently. While searching for ghost towns
on your website, I came across Medicine Mound and had no clue the
town existed. Even as a child back in the 70's I often wondered what
the significance of the mounds were, but we always traveled this highway
as a means to get from point A to point B, never exploring what lay
beyond the blacktop of 287. Now as an adult and self-proclaimed "back
road junkie" and photographer I have planned trips around what has
become my favorite stretch of highway, and thanks to your site I've
been able to find hidden gems like the ghost town of Medicine Mound.
I visited there just after Christmas 2012 and found the W.W. Cole
and Hicks & Cobbs buildings in pretty much the same condition as I
had seen on your website and others. But what I have not been able
to find is the story on the larger building which lies in ruins about
50 yards off FM1167 and across the street from these two buildings.
It appears as though it was some type of school (but seems rather
large for the population statistics from the past). I would appreciate
if any of your readers may have some knowledge of its past and purpose.
Thanks for such an informative and intriguing website.
P.S. I have additional photos from Medicine Mound on my website below
in the "Ghost Towns and Old Mines of the West".
Clay Isbell Photography
- Clay Isbell, January 01, 2013
courtesy Clay Isbell, December 2012
(S on FM 3295, junction of FM 1167):
This cemetery served
residents of the original site of the community of Medicine Mound
in southeast Hardeman County. The settlement took its name from mounds
that rise abruptly from the otherwise flat topography of the county;
one mound contained springs, herbs and gypsum believed to have medicinal
properties. Established by the late 1800s, the community consisted
of Gobins' General Merchandise Store, a school and a church. The cemetery
was adjacent to the one-room building used both as a schoolhouse and
sanctuary. Most early residents of the community participated in farming
or ranching activities. Little information is known about the early
pioneers buried here. It is believed that approximately nine burials
took place in the community's early history. Only one original gravestone,
dated 1891, is preserved, and it marks the burials of two infants,
Smoot and Ford Kerley, children of settlers J.C. and Ida Kerley. Other
known burials are of Old Mounds residents of Mexican descent. In 1908,
the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway laid track two and half miles
north of here. Residents moved near the railroad and the previous
community came to be known as Old Mounds. In 1919, the school
relocated as well, and soon the old settlement was entirely abandoned,
as was the cemetery. Today, this burial ground is all that remains
of Old Mounds, a testament to the pioneering farmers and ranchers
of this area and the Hispanic families who lived and worked here.
Historic Texas Cemetery - 2006
Mound Area Hotels > Vernon
Hotels | Quanah
Subject: Remembering Medicine Mound
I am now 62 years old and have fond memories of this now, ghost town.
I lived with my grandparents in a very small house there. Their driveway
(dirt and gravel) ran beside the Baptist church. My grandmother made
us clean up, if the lights came on at the church and off we would
go to praise God (and see our friends). My grandfather worked at the
only service station in town and drove the gas truck home at night.
I have fond memories of walking to see my grandfather at the station.
He would always buy my brother and I a 5 cent coke in a glass bottle
and a 3 - 5 cent candy bar. We loved to watch him fix flat tires in
the back room. He would use a patch on the inner tube and would light
it to seal the patch to the tube. We sometime got to go to what we
called Punkin City to pick up gas for the station in the gas truck
with him. We loved this as we sometimes got to eat at a cafe, which
was a real treat.
My brother and I went to school in Medicine Mounds until they closed
it. Then, we rode the bus to Quanah
and back every day. The school at the Mounds had two teachers. Mrs
Matthews taught the younger kids and the principal taught the older
group. I think we only had six grades, I am not sure about that. I
do remember the school as the most fun place. There was a wooden floor
gym and you would enter the bleacher area on one floor and look down
at the gym floor in like a basement area. I remember going to the
gym after hours to be with my uncle to watch him practice basketball
with his friends. While he was practicing, my brother and I loved
to hang over the balcony and drop to the floor below. We thought this
was very daring.
When I was young I remember hearing the foxhunts at night from our
yard. I think my grandmother said they were at the King ranch. I also
remember friends who told me of finding arrowheads on the mounds.
My grandmother would never let me go there.
The last time I went to the Mounds as we all called the town, everything
was all closed up. The school was still there looking very rundown.
The station brought back so many memories, it is hard not to cry,
even as I write this. - Nancy Sue Ashmore, October 16, 2006
Texas Escapes 400th Texas Ghost Town 12-1-06
County 1940s map showing Medicine Mound
From Texas state map #4335
Texas General Land Office
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history
and vintage/historic photos, please contact