Kinsearching March 1, 2009




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

Spur, Dickens County, TX

     As we mentioned in the earlier articles in this series, the soon-to-be town of Spur had much activity even before lots went on sale. Entrepreneurs had founded businesses and competition had begun. Information pertaining to some of the first businesses appeared previously in Kinsearching columns: barbers (8 Feb 2009); grocery stores, restaurants, and hotels (15 Feb 2009); and transportation (22 Feb 2009). What were some of the other early businesses springing up? Selected items from the Spur paper tells the history.

     One of the first businesses was the newspaper, The Texas Spur, which shares its 100th anniversary in 2009 with the town of Spur. Editor Oran McCLURE published his first issue on 1 Oct 1909. As to be expected, the headline focused on the main feature: "Another City Now Adorns the Map of Texas, Spur Town Lots Will Be Placed on Sale Nov. 1." McClure put this ad in his paper: "Job-Printing - When all material arrives, the Texas Spur will be prepared to turn out high-class printing of all kinds. Give us a trial." (1 Oct 1909, p. 1, c. 5) A subscription to the newspaper for a year cost one dollar.

     Building materials, hardware, and housewares were necessities for the establishment and growth of the new town. "CAYLOR and LAIRD (sic), of Lubbock, have put in a lumber business at Spur." (12 Nov 1909, p. 4, c. 1) Within a year, the business was sold to competitors. "This week a deal was consummated by which the CAVLOR-LEARD (sic) Lumber Company sold their entire business and stock of lumber and building material to the five other lumber firms of Spur, thus giving Spur only five yards instead of six in the past. Floyd CAVLOR, as manager of the lumber business at Spur, has been successful and a formidable competitor in his line...." (4 Nov 1910, p. 1, c. 1)

     "J. W. CHALK is making preparation to put in a hardware business soon in Spur." (12 Nov 1909, p. 3, c. 4)

     "Joe GOOSBY, of Lubbock, was here last week and made arrangements to locate a hardware and furniture business at Spur." (12 Nov 1909, p. 3, c. 1)

     "Messrs. YOUNGBLOOD & HOFFMAN, recently of Hereford, Texas, have located at Spur and will engage in the paint and paper hanging business...." (29 Oct 1909, p. 2, c. 3)

     In order to make rapid progress in the town, individuals experienced with building skills would be in demand. "W. W. JOHNSTON, carpenter and contractor of Rotan, has located at Spur and will move his family soon." (12 Nov 1909, p. 3, c. 4)

     "Mr. ROSS, of Fort Worth, came in this week and will hereafter be associated with Mr. ANDERTON in carpenter and contract work." (12 Nov 1909, p. 4, c. 4)

     Legal aid, such as help with recording land transactions and writing contracts, was available, either locally or in a town nearby. "Judge T. T. BOULDING, of Matador,...will probably locate in Spur and engage in the practice of his profession as an attorney at law." (12 Nov 1909, p. 2, c. 5)

     An advertisement by P. C. MAYNARD, attorney-at-law in Dickens, TX, made his services known. (12 Nov 1909, p. 4, c. 2)

     "Contracts for deeds in proper form for recording, and also rental contract forms can be secured at my office. E. J. COWAN" (12 Nov 1909, p. 4, c. 1)

     "Glasgow & Davis, of Matador, will locate at Spur and engage in the land and abstract business." (12 Nov 1909, p. 3, c. 2)

     Just as it is in the twenty-first century, having insurance was important to businesses and people in the early twentieth century. "Mr. COWAN, formerly of Dickens, has located at Spur and will engage in the insurance and notary business...." (29 Oct 1909, p. 1, c. 5) An advertisement for fire and "tarnado" insurance by "E. J. COWAN, Office with JACKSON Realty Co" soon appeared in the newspaper. (12 Nov 1909, p. 2, c. 2)

     The same issue contained a notice concerning The (sic) London Assurance Corporation, which was being represented by W. J. MABEN in Spur. (12 Nov 1909, p. 1, c. 3) MABEN also placed an ad for his association with the Austin Fire Insurance Company. (12 Nov 1909, p. 4, c. 4)

     Some businesses offered goods and services that were especially useful to farmers and ranchers. "J. B. CONNER, of near Spur, moved last week to the city and will engage in the feed business. He has already erected a temporary store and has a small stock of feed...." (29 Oct 1909, p. 2, c. 5)

     "R. L. KING, a prominent citizen of Dickens, has decided to cast his lot with the Spur people, and when the town opens will put in a first-class tin shop, sheet iron and metal works...." (29 Oct 1909, p. 3, c. 4)

(To be continued)

     (Editor's Note: For background information about this series of articles, see Kinsearching column dated 8 Feb 2009.)

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