Isom, once an independent town, is now the oldest of several communities that collectively make up the city of Borger, in south central Hutchinson County. It was founded in 1898 by rancher John F. Weatherly, who built a dugout on the site for his family, and originally dubbed Granada. It was renamed by Weatherly's wife, Maggie, for a now-defunct town in her home state of West Virginia. As Weatherly acquired more land, other settlers moved in. In 1900 a post office was established, and Weatherly opened the town's first store in the basement of his stone ranchhouse. A school was begun in 1907, and Maggie Weatherly opened a cafe. The post office remained in operation until October 1919, when the mail was directed to Plemons. Although the Weatherlys moved to the town of Panhandle in 1922, they retained ownership of the townsite of Isom. In May 1926, after an oil boom resulted in the founding of Borger, Weatherly moved the town to the Santa Fe Railroad's oilfield branch line and platted it adjacent to Borger. First Street marked the dividing line; all lots south of the street were in Isom. For seven months, both towns vied for the coveted role of capital of the county's oilfields. The railroad depot and several oil-well supply houses were located in Isom, and newspaper ads attracted many who hoped to profit from the boom. On December 1, however, 1,200 residents successfully petitioned that Isom be merged with Borger. By 1927 the consolidation of the Isom school with that of Borger had made the merger complete.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
H. Allen Anderson | © Texas State Historical Association
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