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DENVER CITY, TX

DENVER CITY, TEXAS. Denver City is on State Highway 83 on the Gaines county line, seventy miles southwest of Lubbock in south central Yoakum County. When the Wasson oil pool was developed in 1939, the town was founded and named by C. S. Ameen and Ben Eggink. Ameen selected the name because he had a close friend who was employed by Denver Productions near the townsite, and he added "City" to the name to show his faith in the town's future. Shortly after its founding the town was incorporated and had a refinery and a gas and water system. By 1940 Denver City had a population of 3,000 and 120 businesses.

In March 1939 W. J. Hale published the first Denver City newspaper at his plant in Plains. The paper, originally called the Record, went through several name changes before it was bought by a Mr. Watson, who changed the name to Denver City Press. Dr. D. K. Robinson established the Denver City Hospital and Clinic in a building at the rear of City Drug Store in 1942. By 1943 the initial boom had subsided; by 1944 the population had leveled to 2,000, and the number of businesses had dropped to fifty-five. In 1945 the population was estimated at 1,750, its level for the rest of the decade. Only thirty-eight businesses were in operation, but Denver City remained an important oilfield-supply point, in addition to its role as a principal retail center for area ranchers.

During the 1950s Denver City grew rapidly. In 1952 it reported 1,858 residents and ninety-five businesses, and by 1955 the number of residents was estimated at 3,800. In 1965 the town reported 4,854 residents and 163 businesses. As drilling activities in the area increased during the 1970s the town continued to grow. Denver City has a library, a county hospital, a radio station, and a semiweekly newspaper. In 1975 the town had 4,920 residents. Because Denver City is situated near the county line many of its businesses are able to serve two counties. Gas plants, cotton refineries, and cattle feedlots are among the local industries. The town continued to prosper through the 1980s as the largest town in Yoakum County and headquarters for most of the county's oil-related business. The town declined somewhat in the 1990s as its population fell from 5,251 in 1990 to 3,985 in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Ray Miller, Eyes of Texas Travel Guide: Panhandle/Plains Edition (Houston: Cordovan, 1982).

Leoti A. Bennett

Citation

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

Leoti A. Bennett, "DENVER CITY, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjd04), accessed July 28, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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