Mangum was a farming and ranching community off State Highway 6 some five miles southwest of Eastland in central Eastland County. It was founded in the late 1890s at the junction of the Eastland, Wichita Falls and Gulf and the Missouri, Kansas and Texas lines. The settlement was named for the Bob Mangum family, who owned the first store in town and operated the post office, which opened in 1899. Hot springs in Mangum gained a reputation as curative, and the water was bottled and shipped throughout Texas. Pete Mangum, the first depot agent for the Missouri, Kansas and Texas, opened the Mangum Mineral Water Company, and Dave Switzer opened the Maurice Mineral Water Company, a hospital, and a bathhouse where patients could take hot mineral baths and drink the water. Switzer also operated the Don Carlos Hotel. In 1915 Mangum had a population of 125, a gin, a school, two doctors, and several businesses and churches. By the early 1920s it had begun to decline. Its post office was closed in 1929, and by 1936 all that remained of the community was a Baptist church and a few scattered houses. By the late 1980s Mangum was no longer shown on highway maps. By 2000 the population was listed as fifteen.
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.
Julius A. Amin | © Texas State Historical Association
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