Masterson is on U.S. highways 87 and 287 in southern Moore County. It was named for the rancher Robert Benjamin Masterson, on whose land it was founded. The town began in 1927–28 as a compressor station to service a twenty-two-inch gas line for the Canadian River (now Colorado Interstate) Gas Company plant. This line was built to supply compressed natural gas for the area from Masterson north to Denver, Colorado. Before the advent of modern airplanes and helicopters, the gas line was inspected for leaks and blowouts by mounted pipeline riders. At its peak Masterson had a school, a two-story frame hotel, a company store, and houses for the company employees. In 1931 the North Plains and Santa Fe built its line a mile south of Masterson and angled track from that point toward the northwest. The Santa Fe established northwest of town a cattle-loading site, complete with scales and loading pens, for the use of area ranchers. The area economy was diversified with the building of the Exell Helium Plant (see EXELL, TEXAS) three miles to the west in the 1940s. Local mail came through Amarillo before the Masterson post office was opened in January 1950. In 1984 this office also served the neighboring communities of Exell and Four Way. The school was closed in the late 1970s, but by the early 1980s Masterson still had a population of eighty-five and at least one small store. In 1990 its population was reported as fifteen. The population remained the same in 2000.
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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