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WHON, TEXAS. Whon is at the junction of Farm Road 2633 and county road LR, in far southeastern Coleman County. Its name is an Anglicized version of Juan, the name of a Mexican cowboy who once lived on the McCain Ranch. Sam H. McCain bought Mrs. Wagie Cooper's half section on Camp Creek in 1903, and Mrs. McCain became postmistress the same year. Tom Holmes built the first house, and Jackson Lindsay was the first schoolteacher. By the 1920s the town had a cotton gin, a public school and teacherage, two churches, and a number of stores and businesses. During Prohibition, the countryside along the Colorado River south of Whon was a popular hideout for bootleggers. As small-scale cotton farming in the area decreased, the community began to decline. In 1940 Whon had a store, a post office, and sixty people; by 1949 the population had dropped to thirty. The town was relatively isolated until 1967, when the first paved road reached the community. The population was estimated at fifteen in 1966. The post office, which had become a unique drive-in facility in 1961, was still operating in the 1980s. A number of old structures, including the teacherage and the remains of the McCain family's dugout home, were still standing. At one time Whon was thought to be at the exact center of the state, until a surveyor's error of ten miles was discovered. Through 2000 the population was still reported at fifteen.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:T. Lindsay Baker, Ghost Towns of Texas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986). Dallas Morning News, September 7, 1975. 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 article.Handbook of Texas Online, Gladys Nevins Hunter, "Whon, TX," accessed April 23, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnw47.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.