BRIDGETOWN, TEXAS. Bridgetown is on a rural road off State Highway 240 seventeen miles northwest of Wichita Falls in north central Wichita County. It developed with the northwest extension of the Burkburnett oilfieldqv in 1920 and derived its name from its location at the south end of a mile-long wooden toll bridge across the Red River, connecting Wichita County with Tillman County, Oklahoma. As Bridgetown was born during the county's oil boom, it naturally attracted residents more interested in profit than in the establishment of a permanent community. The settlement was little more than a collection of tents sprawled along a stretch of the Red River bounded by a mission and a "notorious dive." Liquor, although prohibited by law in Bridgetown, could be obtained with ease almost anywhere in town.
The population of Bridgetown reportedly varied between 3,500 and 10,000 during the early years. A local post office opened in 1920, and soon afterward two motion picture theaters, a bank, a jail, and a church were constructed. When the oil boom in Wichita County ended during the middle 1920s, however, the boomtown rapidly dwindled in size and activity; its population fell to 100 by 1926. In 1936 the population was still reported at 100, and the town had two businesses. The post office had closed. Bridgetown had a population of eighty and two businesses in the late 1940s. Since then no statistics have been available.
Louise Kelly, Wichita County Beginnings (Burnet, Texas: Eakin Press, 1982).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Brian Hart, "BRIDGETOWN, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrb54), accessed November 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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