MCLEAN, TEXAS. McLean, on Interstate Highway 40 in southeastern Gray County, is the second largest town in the county. In 1901 the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Texas Railroad Company dug a water well and built a switch and section house three miles inside Gray County. Around this switch the following year Alfred Rowe, an area rancher, laid out a townsite. The town was named for a Texas legislator and railroad commissioner, William P. McLean, and was granted a post office in 1902 with C. C. Cooke as postmaster. By 1904 McLean had three general stores, a bank, two wagonyards and livery stables, a lumberyard, and a newspaper, the McLean News. A windmill pumped water from a well drilled in the middle of Main Street, and citizens hauled the water in barrels and buckets. The town was incorporated in 1909 with C. S. Rice as mayor. Soon McLean became a center for area agriculture. Several hundred carloads of hogs and watermelons were shipped annually. Four telegraph operators were required to handle the messages of the railroad business.
In 1908 and again in 1919 McLean made an unsuccessful bid against Lefors to become the county seat. During the 1920s the town profited from the oil boom and became a shipping point for area livestock, gas, and oil. By 1940 McLean had six churches, a newspaper, fifty-nine businesses, and a population of 1,521. The growth of Amarillo and the emergence of Pampa as the county's industrial center helped to reduce the population to 1,447 in 1950, 1,330 in 1960, and 1,183 in 1970. In 1970 McLean had a hospital, a library, a bank, and fifty businesses. The number of businesses dropped to twenty-five by 1980, when the population was 1,160. In addition to a garment factory, McLean has had several industries connected with petroleum and its products. In 1990 the population was 849. The population was 830 in 2000.
F. Stanley [Stanley F. L. Crocchiola], The Lefors, Texas, Story (Nazareth, Texas, 1975).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.H. Allen Anderson, "MCLEAN, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjm10), accessed February 07, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles