Groom, on Interstate Highway 40 forty-two miles east of Amarillo in southeastern Carson County, was named for B. B. Groom, the first general manager of the Francklyn (White Deer) Ranch (see FRANCKLYN LAND AND CATTLE COMPANY), whose cottonwood log house was located on White Deer Creek, eleven miles to the north. The townsite was laid out on the route of the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway in 1902. In that year Frank S. Dysart established the first general store-post office. In 1903 C. R. (Lum) Slay opened a second mercantile store and took over operation of the post office. By 1906 a barbershop, a bank, a hotel, a lumberyard, a school, and several stores had been established. In 1911, when Groom was first incorporated, it reported a population of over 250. It survived fires in 1912 and 1915 to grow as a shipping point for area ranching and agriculture. The population rose to 564 by 1931, after an oil boom in the 1920s. In 1928 the town paved its main street and installed a water system and electricity and natural gas utilities. A sewer system was added in the late 1940s. By 1960 a modern community hospital replaced an earlier, ten-bed osteopathic unit. After a decline in the early 1940s, the population rose over the next two decades, reaching 808 in 1972. By 1984 Groom had five churches, a state bank, a modern school, thirty businesses, and a population of 736. In 1990 the population was 613. Among the town's attractions is a 190-foot-tall cross erected in 1995. Perhaps the largest cross in the northern hemisphere, Groom's cross has become a roadside shrine and destination for pilgrims. In 2000 Groom had forty-five businesses and 587 inhabitants.