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LITTLEFIELD, TX

LITTLEFIELD, TEXAS. Littlefield, the county seat of Lamb County, is on U.S. Highway 84, Farm Road 54, and the Santa Fe line in the south central part of the county. It was named for George W. Littlefield, who divided his Yellow House Ranch and formed a land company when surveys showed that the new Santa Fe line from Coleman to Texico, New Mexico, would pass through his land. Arthur P. Duggan, husband of Littlefield's niece, helped to lay out land tracts and became sales manager. In 1913 the site became a station on the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway, and a school, supported for several years by the Littlefield Land Company, was established. The developing community's population reached 250 in 1915, when the town also had a bank, several other businesses, and a library. Two years later the Lamb County News began publication there. Littlefield was incorporated in 1924, and by 1930 it had a population of 3,500, grain elevators, gins, a compress, and cottonseed oil mills (see COTTONSEED INDUSTRY). A hospital and a clinic were built in 1935. Littlefield was elected the county seat in 1946. Its population was 3,817 in 1940 and 6,558 in 1950. Littlefield was surrounded by irrigated farms that produced cotton, grain sorghums, and vegetables. The town became the retail and commercial center for Lamb County and parts of Hockley and Bailey counties. Fertilizer products and irrigation equipment manufacturing contributed to its economy. The population of Littlefield was 7,236 in 1960, 6,738 in 1970, and 7,409 in 1980. The number of businesses reported there declined from 240 in 1969 to 170 in 1973 and 147 in 1983. In the 1980s a textile mill became an important industry in the community. In 1991 Littlefield reported a population of 6,587 and 201 businesses. By 2000 the population was 6,507 with 286 businesses.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

David B. Gracy II, "Arthur P. Duggan and the Early Development of Littlefield," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 64 (October 1968). Vincent Matthew Peterman, Pioneer Days: A Half-Century of Life in Lamb County and Adjacent Communities (Lubbock: Texas Tech Press, 1979). Kathleen E. and Clifton R. St. Clair, eds., Little Towns of Texas (Jacksonville, Texas: Jayroe Graphic Arts, 1982). Evalyn Parrott Scott, A History of Lamb County (Sudan, Texas: Lamb County Historical Commission, 1968).

William R. Hunt

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

William R. Hunt, "LITTLEFIELD, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hfl05), accessed September 23, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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