Kinsearching February 15, 2009




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     This week we will continue the early history of Spur, Texas, as told through selected items from the town's newspaper, The Texas Spur. For background information about this series of articles, see Kinsearching column dated 8 Feb 2009.

Spur, Dickens County, TX

     Although many people awaiting the sale of Spur's town lots lived temporarily in tents, individuals could stay in a hotel if they could afford it. "A new hotel building has been completed on the Spur townsite and is now in operation, Mrs. MAHONE having charge of the business. For several months, Mrs. MAHONE has been conducting the hotel business, first, at Espuela, and later moving to Spur. Mrs. MAHONE has a wide reputation, having operated hotels in a number of places in the State...." (1 Oct 1909, p. 2, c. 1) Soon after Spur "opened," visitors from various places in Texas continued coming to the growing town. Twenty-two men registered at the Western Hotel in the course of one week. (12 Nov 1909, p. 4, c. 5)

     With the amount of people flocking to a town barely founded, where did they go to obtain food? The number of options available so early in the town's history were rather amazing. As mentioned in Kinsearching column dated 8 Feb 2009, Eby Bros. were doing a booming business before town lots went on sale. (1 Oct 1909, p. 2, c. 1)

     "At the present time and for some time past Mr. J. D. POWELL, an experienced meat market man has been doing business and supplying the public with a variety of choice meats while awaiting the opening of Spur. Mr. Powell has associated with him Mr. Tom DAVIS, both of whom are old timers in this western country...Mr. Davis is an expert meat cutter...." (29 Oct 1909, p. 3, c. 5)

     Before the town became a reality, several other people were making plans to open grocery and restaurant businesses. "G. L. BARBER, formerly...of Rotan, is preparing to put in a complete and first-class line of groceries in the city...." (1 Oct 1909, p. 2, c. 4)

     "J. L. POWERS of Rotan, recently moved to Spur and will engage in the confectionery and restaurant business when the city is opened to the public. Mr. Powers is a hustling business man and we wish him success in this business venture in a new town and country." (29 Oct 1909, p. 3, c. 3)

     New businesses pertaining to food continued to spring up after the town was officially founded. "N. S. LOCK, formerly of Plainview, will locate at Spur and engage in the grocery business." (12 Nov 1909, p. 4, c. 1)

     "Wyley CLAY, formerly of Dickens, opened up a restaurant this week next door to the Texas Spur office." (12 Nov 1909, p. 4, c. 2)

    Advertisements brought attention to other sources of food. "Cigars, tobacco and short orders at the Elite Cafe." (12 Nov 1909, p. 3, c. 5)

    "Go to the Spur Meat Market for fresh and cured meat and fresh bread--also barbestew (sic) meat. Across the street from Western Hotel." (12 Nov 1909, p. 4, c. 1)

     In a town merely beginning and located in a dry and arid region, water was a precious commodity. Just as it did with food, business alleviated any water shortage. "W. M. KIRKPATRICK, recently of Fisher county (sic) has located at Spur and is now operating a water wagon in town. He will move his family here soon." (12 Nov 1909, p. 2, c. 5)

(To be continued)

     Charles N. Ferguson, 811 South Market, Shawnee, OK 74801 is seeking information about the family of Adam Leroy DAVENPORT, b. in 1905 in TX and buried in Nocona, TX, and wife Gladys PLUMM. Adam's parents were Edmond J. DAVENPORT and Mahala HARRIS. In 1910, Edmond and Mahala lived in Childress, TX.

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