PAKAN, TEXAS. Pakan, on Farm Road 1443 in southwestern Wheeler County, was founded in 1904 by thirteen Slovak families from Chicago led by Sam Pakan, Sr., for whom the town was named. These eastern European farmers were attracted to the Panhandle by advertisements promoted by the Chicago, Rock Island, and Gulf Railroad. They settled on a site owned by the Pyron Cattle Company, from which they obtained titles. In 1907 they pooled their resources to build a one-room school. The following year state aid allowed them to enlarge the school. During the next several years these Slovak settlers became noted for their experiments with cotton and other crops and stock breeding. One observer in the late 1930s described the community as "some of the prettiest farm homes and the best-kept farms in the county." Mail was routed through the post office at Heald, then through Shamrock. As the century progressed, Pakan as a distinct entity gradually fell into oblivion. The school was closed and subsequently used as a rural community center. Although the community has been nonexistent since the 1960s, several descendents of the original settlers still farm the area.
Sallie B. Harris, comp., Hide Town in the Texas Panhandle: 100 Years in Wheeler County and Panhandle of Texas (Hereford, Texas: Pioneer, 1968). William Coy Perkins, A History of Wheeler County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1938).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.H. Allen Anderson, "PAKAN, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvp01), accessed February 07, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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