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KINGS MILL, TX

KINGS MILL, TEXAS. Kings Mill is on U.S. Highway 60 seven miles southwest of Pampa near the western border of Gray County. It is on land formerly owned by the White Deer Lands Trust, a syndicate of British investors which assumed the assets and debts of the Francklyn Land and Cattle Company when the latter failed in the mid-1880s. It is named for Andrew Kingsmill, London banker and representative of the British investors. Kingsmill was instrumental in reorganizing the company after its bankruptcy and in hiring George Tyng as manager of the White Deer lands in 1886. In 1902 Lord Rosebery, former British prime minister and largest holder of Francklyn and White Deer bonds, instructed Kingsmill to return to Texas in order to check up on the bondholders' interests and on the possibility of the sale of land in and near Pampa. During this trip Kingsmill, acting on Tyng's recommendation, hired Timothy Dwight Hobart as manager to replace the retiring Tyng. At this time Kingsmill also purchased, at five dollars an acre, a section of land on Rosebery's behalf and ordered that a water well be drilled on it. Because foreigners were not allowed to own land in Texas, the acreage was held in trust for a time by the Foster and Cuyler law firm of New York, which had originally purchased the White Deer lands for the British syndicate and which assisted Kingsmill in representing their interests. A small community of homesteaders and cowboys subsequently grew on Rosebery's land. By 1907 the Southern Kansas Railway of Texas had established a station, known as Kings Mill, at the site. The post office, established in 1916, was initially named Elca but was renamed Kings Mill in the early 1920s. The discovery of oil at about the same time attracted additional settlers; by 1931 the town had a school, sixteen businesses, and 400 residents. The population dropped to 150 by 1947. The proximity of Pampa and its emergence as an industrial center led to the demise of Kings Mill. The post office was closed by 1966, and from 1968 to 1990 the population was listed at sixty-five. During some of this time Kings Mill had a store and two grain elevators. The Cabot Company's Kings Mill carbon plant is on the highway two miles northeast.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Arthur Hecht, comp., Postal History in the Texas Panhandle (Canyon, Texas: Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, 1960). Lester Fields Sheffy, The Francklyn Land & Cattle Company (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963).

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, "KINGS MILL, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/htk03), accessed September 19, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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