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ANTON, TX

ANTON, TEXAS. Anton, on U.S. Highway 84, Farm roads 168 and 597, and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad twenty-four miles northwest of Lubbock in northeast Hockley County, was founded in the center of what had been the Spade Ranch's north pasture. Around 1924 ranch owner W. L. Ellwood sold off more than 200 farms from his ranch and contracted with the Anton Townsite Company to plat a town at the site of Danforth Switch, a spur of the Pecos and Northern Texas Railway. The site was named Anton in honor of J. F. Anton, a Santa Fe railroad executive. On December 3, 1924, the Anton Townsite Company sponsored a "Grand Opening Jubilee" for the town; despite a bad sandstorm, they sold over 200 town lots the first day. Early businesses included a depot, four lumber companies, a gin, a hotel, and a newspaper, the Anton News (later the Four County News, which ended publication in 1959). The first mayor was Paul Whitfield, and when the post office opened in 1925 the first postmaster was J. C. Arnett. The Anton Independent School District was established in 1925; classes were held in two small frame buildings, though by the end of the year the district had obtained a $40,000 building. By 1926 several churches had been established; by 1929 the town had a bank. In the late 1930s Anton, which then had a population of 400 and twenty businesses, was incorporated. Grain, cotton, and later oil were central to the economy. The town also had for a time a large rabbit-processing plant, though by 1982 it had closed down. Anton had a population of 1,368 and fifty businesses in the 1960s. By the early 1980s the town again had a newspaper, the Anton Star. In 1988 Anton's population of 1,198 was served by fourteen businesses. In 1990 the population was 1,212. That figure dropped slightly to 1,200 in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Lillian Brasher, Hockley County (2 vols., Canyon, Texas: Staked Plains, 1976). Kathleen E. and Clifton R. St. Clair, eds., Little Towns of Texas (Jacksonville, Texas: Jayroe Graphic Arts, 1982). Orville R. Watkins, "Hockley County: From Cattle Ranches to Farms," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 17 (1941).

Rachel Jenkins

Citation

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

Rachel Jenkins, "ANTON, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hja10), accessed October 02, 2014. Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.