Chicago

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Stemmons, two miles north of Lamesa in central Dawson County, was once the headquarters of the Bartow Ranch. The site was originally named Chicago by W. C. Bishop, the owner of the ranch, who established a post office there in 1889. Within several years a small community had developed two miles to the west of the ranch, and in 1904 the Chicago post office was moved to this more western location and its name was changed to Stemmons, in honor of Walter Stemmons, the manager of the Bartow Ranch. A rivalry soon developed between Stemmons and nearby Lamesa over which town would become county seat. Though the postal department first ordered the Stemmons post office to close when the Lamesa office was granted in 1904, postal officials later decided to allow both stations to exist until after the county seat election. The election was held on March 20, 1905, and Lamesa won by five votes. A committee from Lamesa met the next day and agreed to invite the citizens and merchants of Stemmons to move to Lamesa. Encouraged by free commercial lots and aid for moving houses and businesses, the Stemmons population accepted the offer, and most Stemmons residents left within a few days. The Stemmons post office closed on July 31, 1905.

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Charles G. Davis | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Chicago is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists

No

Place type

Chicago is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Stemmons)

Has Post Office

No

Is Incorporated

No