Belco, in northwestern Gray County, was established as an oil camp in 1929, during the height of the local boom. It sprang up around the refinery erected by the Bell Oil and Gas Company a mile east of Pampa. Mail came through the Pampa post office. During the 1930s Belco reported four businesses but had no population listings until 1945 and 1947, when the Texas Almanac recorded a population of eighty. In 1932 Danciger Oil and Refineries, manufacturer of Roadrunner Gasoline, took over the plant and hired as many as 200 people. A year after the takeover the capacity of the refinery was increased by 4,000 barrels. During World War II Danciger produced high-octane gasoline as aviation fuel for area bases. The refinery also was known as the sponsor of the Pampa Road Runner baseball team, which included Sammy Baugh of subsequent football fame. The Phillips Petroleum Company bought the refinery in 1946 and later closed it. That move, in addition to the growth of Pampa, resulted in Belco's rapid demise.
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