Clauene, on U.S. Highway 385 ten miles south of Levelland in south central Hockley County, was one of the first settlements in the county. The area was opened for homesteading in the early 1920s. The site was once part of the Zavala Ranch and had more people and buildings than Levelland when that new community was designated the county seat. The name was derived from the catclaw bushes in the vicinity. Five families from Fort Stockton were the original settlers: the King family, G. E. Murray, L. E. Swafford, the Whites, and the Palmers. Mrs. Teague was the first teacher, and N. P. White had the first store. Brooksie Martin built a gin in 1923, one of the first in the county. Clauene did not develop much because of its proximity to Levelland. Its schools were consolidated with those of Levelland in 1946, and even church members, except for those of the Fellowship Baptist, gravitated from Clauene to Levelland churches. The population has remained stable with twenty-five in 1930, fifty in 1950, and twenty-four in 1970 and 1980. It was still reported as twenty-four in 1990, but dropped to ten in 2000.
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Clauene by the Numbers
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