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Young County TX
Young County

OLNEY, TEXAS

Young County, Texas Panhandle / Central Texas North

33°22'5"N 98°45'29"W (33.368181, -98.758012)
Highways 132, 114, 251, 79
FMs 210 and 3329
13 Miles N of Newcastle
26 Miles NW of Graham
18 Miles S of Archer City
Population: 3,285 (2010) 3,396 (2000)

Book Hotel Here > Graham Hotels
Olney Texas garzebo and mural
Downtown Olney mural depicting oil boom
Photo courtesy Mike Price, 2007

History in a Pecan Shell

The community is said to be named after Grover Cleveland's Secretary of State or some incident of local interest that occurred at Olney, Illinois.

The town was settled around 1880 as a central location for local ranchers who held their annual round-up. In 1889 two acres of land were donated for a townsite, and soon after a post office was granted and a store was built.

In 1891 the community established a school and the Wichita Falls and Southern Railway arrived in 1909. The railroad caused the town to shift its location one mile north. In 1910 Olney became a two railroad town with the arrival of the Gulf, Texas and Western railroad.

Oil was discovered in 1923 and Olney became a boom town when huge reserves were found in '24. Three refineries opened and the population of Olney swelled to 5,000 by 1930. Railroad service was cut off during WWII and never reestablished. A tornado struck the community in 1951 causing extensive damage, injuring 75 and killing two.


TX - Olney School 1913-1916 ? class photo
"Ruth Oran Smith Moser front row 3rd, big bow in her hair."
Click on image to enlarge

Photo courtesy Martha Moser-Seddon

Old Olney School Class Photos

"I'm sending a couple of my grandma's school pictures. She was born 1907 in Chico but I believe they were schooled in Olney.

Photos Circa 1913-1916. Guessing from date of birth of Martha Moser-Seddon" - Martha Moser-Seddon, , January 24, 2018
TX - Olney School 1913-1916 ? class photo
Front row - Baseball team?
Click on image to enlarge
Photo courtesy Martha Moser-Seddon
See Texas Schoolhouses | Texas Vintage Photos

Olney Texas mural of oil boom
Another mural depicting oil boom
Photo courtesy Mike Price, 2007
See Texas Murals | Texas Towns
Olney Texas bank detail
Olney Bank architectural detail
Photo courtesy Mike Price, 2007
Olney Texas bank building
Olney Bank building
Photo courtesy Mike Price, 2007
More Texas Banks
Hamilton Hotel in Olney Texas
Hamilton Hotel
Photo courtesy Mike Price, 2007
More Rooms with a Past
Olney Texas old water tower showing Olney Cubs
The old water tower
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2005
Olney Texas  water tower
Olney water tower
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2005
More Texas Water Towers

Olney Chronicles

  • Olney Tornado - 1951 by Dr. Marlene Bradford
  • Agricultural Aircraft and Leland Snow by Ken Rudine

    In 1951 a Texan named Leland Snow began designing an airplane for the purpose of aerial applications on crops... In 1958 he moved his company to Olney, Texas. There he began building his aircraft models S-2A and S-2B... . In 1977 the first turbine engine model Air Tractor was produced... In 2008 there was a celebration honoring Leland Snow’s 50th year in Olney Texas.

  • Take a road trip

    Olney, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Graham | Archer City
    See Young County | Texas Panhandle / Central Texas North

    Book Hotel Here:
    Graham Hotels | More Hotels
    Texas 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 us.

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