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Martin County
Martin County

Stanton Hotels


TARZAN, TEXAS

Martin County, Texas Panhandle / West Texas

32 18' 19" N, 101 58' 31" W (32.305278, -101.975278)
Highway 176
NW of Stanton
33 miles West of Big Spring
33 miles East of Andrews
Population: 80 (1980 - 2000)

Tarzan, Texas Area Hotels > Stanton Hotels
Tarzan post office
A brisk breeze in Tarzan
TE Photo Feb 2001
History in a Pecan Shell

Tarzan wasn't formed until the 1920s. That's why you never heard of Fort Tarzan, Texas. The town gets its unusual name from a submission to the postal service that was accepted. There's no telling how many names had been submitted and rejected, but the boys in the postal service thought it was great fun to have a Tarzan, Texas. After all, they didn't have to live there. The year was 1927 and Tarzan's popularity in the comic strips was right up there with Krazy Kat. Of course, when people thought of Tarzan in 1926, they though of Elmo Lincoln instead of Johnny Weissmuller. Not that it makes much difference.
Tarzan Cotton Gin
The Biggest Structure in Tarzan
TE Photo Feb 2001
The "turning point" for Tarzan (the town) came in 1938 when a highway was built from Big Spring to Andrews. It's equidistance made it a natural stop for whoever might be traveling between these two cities. The turning point for Tarzan (the Apeman) was when he met Jane. Everybody knows that.

We were calling the Valentine post office not that long ago and for some reason we got the postmaster of Tarzan. He didn't seem too surprised that we got him by mistake. He said that since Tarzan and Valentine are close to one another in the directory, this sometimes happens. While he knew the exact mileage to Valentine and had actually been there, he was short on answers for other questions we had. While we had him on the line, we asked the population of Tarzan. We were told that we could "count them on one hand." We then told him our map said 80 and he said that that "sounds about right"

So, if you see a man in the vincinity of Big Spring / Odessa with 80 fingers on one hand, that would be the Tarzan Postmaster.
rusted sign
The Tarzan Gin is equipped with the Moss Lint Cleaner
TE Photo Feb 2001
About the only other information we could glean from the Handbook of Texas was that oil was discovered in the 1950s and the Tarzan Hot Oil Company was formed. The next time you see an 18-wheeler with TARZAN HOT OIL COMPANY written on the side, ask them why the oil has to be hot, or if it really is.

We consulted the book Muleshoe and More: The Remarkable Stories Behind the Naming of Texas Towns by Bill and Clare Bradfield, and found that Tarzan was just one of fourteen names submitted to the postal authorities by storekeeper Tant Linsey. Perhaps the other names are still on file somewhere in D.C.
Tarzan Texas closed Flying Dutchman
A closed store
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2006

Take a road trip

Tarzan, Texas Nearby Towns:
Stanton | Big Spring | Andrews | Midland | Odessa
See Martin County | Texas Panhandle | West Texas

Book Hotel Here:
Stanton 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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