County Seat, West Texas
31°13'28"N 101°56'27"W (31.224412, -101.940866)
Highways 67 and 349
55 miles S of Midland
32 miles SE of Crane
28 miles W of Big
22 miles N of Iraan
ZIP code 79778
Area code 432
Population: 851 Est. (2019)
778 (2010) 800 (2,000) 1,011 (1990)
Rankin, Texas Area Hotels Midland
in a Pecan Shell
in 1911, Rankin is the oldest town in Upton
Named after rancher F. E. Rankin, the town came into being when the
former county seat of Upland (10 miles
North) was bypassed by the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway.
A post office was established in 1912 and most of the population moved
to town from Upland. Rankin however
did not officially become county seat until 1921.
With the discovery of oil in the twenties, the population rose to
an estimated 1,500 by 1928 and the town was incorporated that year.
The boom created funds to expand Rankin's infrastructure and explains
the presence of the over-sized Yates
Hotel (now the Rankin Historical museum).
The boom also funded a brick school, the
courthouse and a two-story office building.
Oil close to Rankin was not found (at that time) and the population
moved on to new fields. The population declined to 935 by 1931 and
declined further during the Great Depression.
By 1940 the population was a mere 672 but an oil discovery north of
Rankin came in building the town anew and bringing the population
nearly up to what it was during the first boom.
Rankin has retained a population between 1,000 and 1,500 from the
1950s through the 2000 census with oil, sheep and cattle
remaining the economic base.
former Yates Hotel,
south of the railroad tracks
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Photo courtesy Terry
Jeanson, February 2013
Hotel & Rankin Beach by Mike Cox
It marked a rough time in Rankin’s history, when bootleg booze and
black gold flowed with equal ease...
Hotel by Mike Cox
"At one time, as many as 10 hotels of sorts did a flourishing
business in Rankin, but the Harlan and Yates amounted to the Waldorf
Astoria and Ritz of the town once claiming a population of 10,000."
County 1940s map
From Texas state map #4335
Texas General Land Office
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