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LEHMAN, TX

LEHMAN, TEXAS. Lehman was on State Highway 125 fifty-five miles west of Lubbock in central Cochran County. The town was originally called Ligon and was located four miles south of Morton. Ligon, named for C. C. Slaughter's daughter-in-law, Mrs. E. Dick (Ligon) Slaughter, was built by the Slaughters with the hope that the railroad would pass through the town. In 1923 the site was surveyed and mapped. Ligon was the first town in the county. It had the county's first service station, run by Hugh Knox, as well as a general store and a school. Ligon originated from a rivalry between the Slaughters and their land agent, Morton Smith, who founded the town of Morton. Each faction wanted its town to be the county seat. On March 17, 1923, an election was held, and Morton was declared the winner. But the Slaughters challenged the results and were upheld in court. On May 6, 1924, a second election was held and Morton was again declared the county seat.

When the South Plains and Santa Fe Railway was built across Cochran County only four miles from Ligon, the town moved south to the tracks and changed its name to Lehman, in honor of Frank A. Lehman, general manager of the railroad. Residents Floyd Rowland, "Prof" Angley, and others helped move the town. John Henry Pierce promoted the townsite. Alvin O'Pry, Ligon postmaster, retained his position. The Ligon school was moved to Lehman and used for a year while a $30,000 brick school building was constructed; later the wooden schoolhouse was used for social affairs. The Lehman depot was a shipping and receiving point for cattle, and Mrs. W. E. Angley's cafe was a favorite stop for the local cowboys. In 1936 the ranching community reported two businesses and ten residents, and by 1940 the population was estimated at 100. In 1945 the federal government bought the Slaughters' Scrape-Out Ranch. Called the Lehman project, it was subdivided into farms and sold to twenty-nine veterans on forty-year loans. It was quite successful, for twenty-five of the loans were paid back in two years. In 1954 Tellepsen Petro-chem Constructors built the Lehman Gasoline Plant, Cochran County's largest industrial operation not based on agriculture. As late as 1965 the plant operated in conjunction with a National Sulphur Company plant in Lehman. In 1976 the plant was shut down; subsequently, the site served as a compressor station for Cities Service Oil Corporation. By 1982, the last year a population was reported, the number of Lehman residents had dwindled to fifteen. The railroad between Bledsoe and Whiteface was abandoned in late 1983, and Lehman all but disappeared. In 2000 the population was eight.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Elvis Eugene Fleming, Texas' Last Frontier: A History of Cochran County (Morton, Texas: Cochran County Historical Society, 1965).

Leoti A. Bennett

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Leoti A. Bennett, "LEHMAN, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrl23), accessed July 14, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.