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PLEMONS, TX

PLEMONS, TEXAS. Plemons had its beginning in 1898 when James A. Whittenburg, an area rancher, built his dugout in a hill overlooking a bend in the Canadian River in central Hutchinson County. The site was named for Barney Plemons, the son of Amarillo judge and state legislator William Buford Plemons, who had filed on land there. When the county was organized in the spring of 1901, Plemons was chosen county seat. A school and a post office were established, and a road was laid out from Plemons toward Dumas in Moore County. A two-story frame courthouse was built later that year, replacing a smaller temporary structure. Plemons experienced slow growth as a river-crossing town for area ranches, including the Turkey Track and Tar Box outfits. Between 1902 and 1905, a wagonyard, a barbershop, a doctor's office, a drugstore, and a mercantile store were established, and at least fifteen families made Plemons their home. William (Billy) Dixon, former buffalo hunter, scout, and the county's first sheriff, moved his growing family to Plemons and for three years operated a boarding house. Despite the fact that his three oldest children went to school in Plemons, Dixon claimed that he "found living in town worse than it could have been in jail." Although a permanent church building was never constructed, a parsonage was built, and services were held either in the school or the courthouse. The community also became noted for its string band and five-day teacher institutes. Plemons declined when the Amarillo branch line of the Rock Island line bypassed it. A special election in the fall of 1926 made the new town of Stinnett, ten miles to the northwest and on the railroad, county seat. Nevertheless, Plemons managed to survive for two more decades with hopes of profiting from the county's oil boom. Considerable excitement occurred on March 18, 1932, when W. J. (Shine) Popejoy, the king of the Texas bootleggers, held up the town bank. In 1940 Plemons reported three businesses and a population of 100. By the 1950s, however, the town fell into oblivion as more residents moved to neighboring communities. The post office was closed in June 1952. Though the Plemons Independent School District has been in continuous existence since 1925, the town had no official population listings. Only the cemetery stands as a reminder of its heyday.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Olive K. Dixon, Life of "Billy" Dixon (1914; rev. ed., Dallas: Turner, 1927; facsimile, Austin: State House, 1987). Hutchinson County Historical Commission, History of Hutchinson County, Texas (Dallas: Taylor, 1980). John L. McCarty, Adobe Walls Bride (San Antonio: Naylor, 1955). Jerry Sinise, Black Gold and Red Lights (Burnet, Texas: Eakin Press, 1982). F. Stanley, The Plemons Story (Nazareth, Texas, 1973).

H. Allen Anderson

Citation

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

H. Allen Anderson, "PLEMONS, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrp44), accessed September 01, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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