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TANKERSLEY, TEXAS

Tom Green County
West Texas / Texas Panhandle
Highway 67 and FM 2335
6 miles N of Knickerbocker
9 miles SW of San Angelo
3.7 miles W of Twin Buttes Reservoir

Population: 20 est. (2000)

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R. F. Tankersley, Tankersley, Texas
R. F. Tankersley
Photo Courtesy Fort Concho Museum
TX - Tankersley Schoolhouse
The old (pre-1926) Tankersley schoolhouse (south side)
Photo courtesy Ralph D. Ellis
History in a Pecan Shell

According to the Handbook of Texas, The land for the town was donated by R. F. Tankersley in 1864. A post office was granted in 1910, although it was discontinued in 1963. Tankersley's zenith was reached in 1946 with 75 persons. Increased mobility drastically reduced the town to only 20 by 1953.

Tankersley Schoolhouse

TX - Tankersley Schoolhouse
The old (pre-1926) Tankersley schoolhouse (east side)
Photo courtesy Ralph D. Ellis
TX - Tankersley Schoolhouse
"Tankersley schoolhouse (built in 1926, torn down in 1999)"
Photo courtesy Ralph D. Ellis
TX - Tankersley Schoolhouse
1930's (maybe 1940's) photo of Tankersley school
Photo courtesy Ralph D. Ellis
TX - Tankersley School former students
"Photo from 1999 just prior to the school's demolition. Of the three ex-students shown here, my mother is on the right, and her youngest sister is on the left." - Ralph D. Ellis, February 04, 2014

Subject: Tankersley School
Dear TE, I attended school at Tankersley for the last couple of years that it was open. I remember Mrs. Rhine as one of the two teachers there. I was recently there but could not find the school so I would guess it was torn down. I lived at Lake Nasworthy and my two sisters and I had to ride a bus through San Angelo to Tankersley. When I was in the 5th or 6th grade there, I aquired an old Indian motorcycle and would ride to school by cutting through the ranches. I would arrive before the school bus to fire up the old wood burning heaters in both classrooms, sweep the hall, and do other chores in return for a free lunch. We had propane heaters also but the ceilings were so high that it would take forever to warm up on propane heaters. After lunch and at recess our big sport was baseball and we had just enough players to make up one team. One day we all loaded on the bus to play another small school but their team consisted of all boys and ours was at least half girls. We lost but had a great time playing and singing on the bus. On rainy days we entertained ourselves in our classroom with a game of eraser tag or hangman. The opening day of deer season would just about close the school as both boys and girls had gone hunting. When the school did close we were all transfiered into San Angelo's Robert E. Lee and things were never the same. My time at Tankersley school was the very best education as the teacher had time to give personal attention to problems. The days of the one or two room schools are long over and the innocence lost forever. By going to such a large school I quickly learned how to fight to defend myself and deal with the modern world. If anyone has any pictures or information on the Tankersley school [please consider sharing it]. - Rick Carthen, Coleman Texas, June 27, 2007

Subject: Tankersley School

My brothers and sisters and I went to school in Tankersley in the early 1950's. There was a two room school with first, second, and third grades in one room and forth, fifth and sixth grades in the other. The main building consisted of a simple square box, stucco design. Along with the two classrooms, there was an auditorium. The last time I was in the area was in the middle 1980's and the building was still there although the school had been long closed. I believe it closed in the early 1960s.

The secondary building was the living quarters for the husband/wife teaching team and also the cafeteria for the students. The restrooms were outside in a separate building.

The teachers that I remember being there were Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson. Mr. Ferguson had a stroke during the school year, and they had to leave since he couldn't keep up his teaching duties. Mr. and Mrs. Smith moved in after the Fergusons left. They were a younger couple with no children. His first name may have been Curtis, her name was Polly. I only attended school there for two years and then transferred into San Angelo schools.

I also remember across the highway from the school was a store/gas station owned by Mr. and Mrs. Boggs. We would take whatever change we had to school and after lunch, we would go across the highway to Bogg's Store and buy penny candy.

The majority of the students at Tankersley School lived on farms in the area, but the residents of West Texas Boys Ranch also attended there. - Gary Clark, Crawford, Texas, July 06, 2005

Subject: Tankersley
I remember that schoolhouse. My father ran the gas station/store for a time and we lived next door to the gas station. There was a ranch next to us that we used to visit and learn about chickens from the ranch hands and they would let us ride their horse for a short distance. My aunt and uncle (Jay and Ruby Ferrell) lived down the road a piece and we would visit them often. - Robert Featherston, January 27, 2007

More Tankersley Texas Forum

We received a most interesting letter from Mr. Hiram Joel Jacques of San Jose, California. He gives our readers a personal look at the people who settled this region in the 1880s. - Editor

Mr. Jacques writes:

My late father's ancestors have deep roots in Ben Ficklin and Knickerbocker history and Tankersley.

My great-great-grandfather, Tomas Jaques de Salazar (1800-1880), moved to Ben Ficklin around 1871-72 with his family.

He was the oldest man in Fort Stockton in 1870 at the age of 70 years. He crossed over to Fort Stockton, Texas from Chihuahua by wagon in 1870. In 1872, Tomas and two of his four sons, Trinidad and Jesus Jose, signed the Petition of 1872 to form Tom Green county, which included about 13 of today's counties. Tomas died around 1880, two years before the great flood of 1882.

Around 1886, Two sons then moved toward El Paso and two settled in Knickerbocker. My great-grandfather, Honesimo Jaques, worked for Joseph Tweedy and built his rock house in Knickerbocker.
vintage wedding photo, Tankersley, Texas
My grandfather, Selso, worked for R. F. Tankersley as a foreman on his cattle ranch.

Selso married the niece of R. F. Tankersley's second wife, Conchita Maldonado.

My late father, Francisco (Frank) Jacques, was born on the Tankersley ranch in 1917.

Left - Selso and Maria wedding photo
Courtesy Hiram Joel Jacques
- Hiram Joel Jacques, San Jose, CA, August 14, 2003
Additional vintage photos of Tom Green County contributed by Mr. Jacques can be found on the town pages of Ben Ficklin , Knickerbocker, and Fort Stockton.


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.
Tankersley Texas
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