|Old gas station
in Wink circa 1910
Photo courtesy Marianne Clancy
a Pecan Shell
Wink was born late
for a Texas town. The year was 1926 and oil had just been discovered.
They wanted the town named Winkler after the County, but the
postal authorities said no. So they shortened their application to
Wink and got their post office in 1927. This was the same year they
organized a school.
residents (both of them) were surprised when the population swelled
to 3,500 by late 1927. By 1929 the population was 6,000 and that
even surprised the newcomers. It's entirely possible that with all
the activity that several people were counted twice. Naturally,
the infrastructure had a hard time keeping up. A wave of boom-town
parasites invaded the town and earned Wink a place in Texas history
as one of the wilder oil towns.
The city government was under the control of organized crime in
1928. This was unheard of in Texas!
Texans were used to crime in local government - they just hadn't
heard of any being organized. A Judge declared the city's incorporation
void in 1928 and they went about building a jail. We're told the
jail was the first municipal building.
When the Texas-New Mexico Railroad came through in 1929,
the population was already declining. Even connecting the town to
stop the former Winkites from moving away.
The 30s saw another attempt at incorporation, and this time it took.
There was increased medical care, even as the population continued
A cycle of small gains and losses in both people and businesses
kept Wink busy through the 40s and 50s. The town made National headlines
in 1960 when it received a million dollars in Federal funds
which it spent on curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
TEXAS ATTRACTIONS / IMAGES
Roy Orbison Museum
If you are old enough, you've heard Wink mentioned for being Roy Orbison's
boyhood home. If you're like most people, while you were on the way
to get an atlas you probably got distracted, so you're still unaware
of exactly where Wink is. If you're young enough, you'll probably
ask Roy who?
Old Wink Cemetery
Old Wink Cemetery is the burial site of 26 persons who died during
the early days of the oil boom, 1926-1929. ... The cemetery marker
is inside the Wink Museum. more
A handsome survivor of Wink's heyday and one of the rare Texas theaters
from the 20s has been listed on the National Register of Historic
Like-New Sidewalks and a Paper Historical Marker
"Wink qualified as a perfect example - the "poster child" for
Urban Renewal in Texas. $1,000,000 was awarded to raze dilapidated
and/or dangerous structures plus install new infrastructure for future
Wink City Hall - 213 E. Hendricks, 915-527-3441
I am watching
a Roy Orbison concert special on National Public Television. I decided
to search for information about Roy. I found his home town of Wink,
Texas and was entertained by the historical notes about Wink. I
also noted the 'Roy Orbison
Museum' located there which I will remember to visit when I
travel through Texas. Thank You - V, Seattle, Washington, 11/Jun/2002
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