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Burkburnett is close to the Red River at the intersection of Interstate Highway 44 and State Highway 240, ten miles north of Wichita Falls in north central Wichita County. The first settler in the area was North Texas pioneer Mabel Gilbert, who settled there in 1856. Just to the west in 1879 J. G. Hardin and J. P. Hawkins founded a small community, commonly known as Nesterville to cowboys from Samuel Burk Burnett's nearby Four Sixes Ranch. By June 1880 the town had a small store and a reported population of 132. In 1882 the local post office was named Gilbert after Mabel Gilbert; it operated until 1903.

In 1906 Burnett sold 16,997 acres of his ranch holdings in northern Wichita County to a group of investors led by Joseph A. Kemp and Frank Kell, who planned to extend the Wichita Falls and Northwestern Railway northward from Wichita Falls to connect with other rail lines to the wheat-producing areas of Oklahoma and Kansas. In this way they hoped to increase the production of flour mills in Wichita Falls. A townsite was laid out along the railroad on the former Burnett lands, a mile north of Gilbert. The Red River Land Company, formed for the occasion, auctioned lots in the townsite on June 6, 1907.

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Brian Hart | © 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

Gilbert is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Gilbert is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Burkburnett)

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated