Thrifty is on Farm Road 2492 six miles north of Bangs in northwestern Brown County. In 1858 the sons of Republic of Texas pioneer Isaac Mullins-Isaac, Jr., John C., and William-established the I C Ranch headquarters on the north side of Jim Ned Creek, seven miles east of Camp Colorado. Other members of the family followed, and by the end of the Civil War a sizeable settlement had developed in the area. The community was originally called Jim Ned, and a post office under this name operated there from 1875 to 1879; in 1880 the post office name was changed to Thrifty. Dr. G. W. Allen and other Allen family members moved to the community in 1875. In 1876 a school was established, and in 1877 it had sixteen pupils. John Mullins had previously opened a store, and in 1877 he and Dr. Allen established the Mullins-Allen Mercantile, a ranch supply center for surrounding counties. The partnership also operated a freight line and a cotton gin. For a time the town also had a saloon and a hotel. The gin was established, along with a flour mill, in 1880, when news arrived of the proposed extension of the Santa Fe line to nearby Brownwood. The railroad, however, caused Thrifty to lose businesses, and this, combined with a severe drought from 1885 to 1887, led to the closing of the store and Thrifty's end as a trade center. By 1892 Thrifty had an estimated population of 100. The number of residents had dropped to sixty by 1915 and remained at about that level through 1936, when Thrifty reported three businesses and a population of fifty-four. In 1977 the site had scattered residences. No population figures were available for Thrifty in 1990.
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