Paducah, TX

By: Charles G. Davis

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: May 1, 1995

Paducah, the county seat of Cottle County, is on a branch of Salt Creek 115 miles west of Wichita Falls and the same distance northeast of Lubbock in the central part of the county. The city is sometimes referred to as the "Crossroads of America" because U.S. highways 70 and 83, which run from the borders of the United States, intersect there. R. Potts, an early settler in the region, moved there from Paducah, Kentucky, in the mid-1800s and offered later arrivals free land in return for voting to name the new settlement Paducah and to make it the county seat. When Cottle County was organized in 1892, Paducah officially became the county seat. A post office was established in the settlement in 1891 with Charles H. Scott as postmaster. The Paducah Post was founded in 1893 and was still published weekly in the 1980s. By the early 1900s the town had a bank, a lumberyard, a telephone company, an Odd Fellows lodge, a school (started about 1893), and Methodist and Baptist churches. The 1903 population of Paducah was 151. The Quanah, Acme and Pacific Railroad arrived in Paducah on Christmas Day, 1909, and the town was incorporated the next year, when its population stood at 1,350. The number of residents grew to 1,800 in 1915 but dropped to 1,357 in 1920; it reached a peak of 2,952 in 1950, and afterward gradually declined. The 1980 census reported 2,216 residents and forty-eight businesses at Paducah. In the 1980s Paducah was a farm and ranch center; cotton, grains, alfalfa, and cattle were raised in its vicinity. Its hospital closed in 1985. The town's businesses during the 1980s included a gasoline manufacturing plant and a shipping point for the Burlington Northern line (see BURLINGTON RAILROAD SYSTEM). At that time Paducah still maintained a library and museum, an airport, and a retirement home. It also held an annual Cotton Festival each September and an Old Settler's Reunion each April. In 1990 the town's population was 1,788. By 2000 the population was 1,498.

Carmen Taylor Bennett, Our Roots Grow Deep: A History of Cottle County (Floydada, Texas: Blanco Offset Printing, 1970). Kathleen E. and Clifton R. St. Clair, eds., Little Towns of Texas (Jacksonville, Texas: Jayroe Graphic Arts, 1982).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Charles G. Davis, “Paducah, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 02, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995

Currently Exists
Place Type
Town Fields
  • Has post office: Yes
  • Is Incorporated: Yes
Belongs to
  • Cottle County
Associated Names


  • Latitude: 34.01444420°
  • Longitude: -100.30377000°
Population Counts
People Year
1,389 1910
1,335 1920
1,318 1930
2,677 1940
2,952 1950
2,392 1960
2,052 1970
2,216 1980
1,788 1990
1,498 2000
1,186 2010
1,067 2019