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SUNDOWN, TX

SUNDOWN, TEXAS. Sundown, at the junction of Farm roads 301 and 303, fifteen miles southwest of Levelland in southwestern Hockley County, was originally part of the C. C. Slaughter ranch. Bob Slaughter derived the name from that of a favorite movie, although some old-timers believe that the choice followed a long discussion among settlers which ended at sundown. Farm tracts were surveyed in 1926, and the town was laid out in 1928. Walter Miller opened the first store in 1929, and T. B. Stone built a gin in 1932. In 1938 R. A. Guthrie became the first postmaster. A Sundown school district was established in 1928, and major growth followed successful oil drilling in 1937. Sundown became known as "Boomtown, USA," and was famous as the small town with the long main street, a 2½-mile strip. Oil-related business increased prosperity, and the town was incorporated in 1947. In 1949 a tornado ravaged the town, killing or injuring twenty people and causing heavy property damage. In 1950 Sundown had a population of 1,487 and forty-eight businesses. In 1960, when the population was 1,186, the town leaders developed a comprehensive plan for development by 1965. Six churches, a school, a bank, a library, and businesses connected to oil, farming, and ranching industries were reported in the 1960s. In 1970 the town had thirty businesses and a population of 1,129. The population was 1,511 in 1980, 1,759 in 1990, and 1,505 in 2000. Sundown has a museum exhibiting mementos of its oilfield developments, oil paintings depicting the early boom days, and other displays. Its school district has been one of the richest in the state.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Lillian Brasher, Hockley County (2 vols., Canyon, Texas: Staked Plains, 1976). Fred Tarpley, 1001 Texas Place Names (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980).

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, "SUNDOWN, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjs31), accessed December 26, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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