Mendota, on Red Deer Creek in western Hemphill county, was established in 1887 and moved twenty years later to its present site on the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railroad route. Initially, it was laid out by the St. Louis Land Company and named after Mendota, Illinois, hometown of the promoter. Through the company's advertisements, farmers from Missouri were attracted to the townsite. At its peak, Mendota had a post office, a school and church, a lumberyard, a general store, and a population of 100. Since most of the populace did their trading at nearby Canadian, the town remained little more than a grain marketplace and stock-loading center for area ranchers and farmers. Since sandy soil and flash floods often made the vicinity impassable for automobiles, people began moving away. The post office was discontinued in 1944. By 1948 only a rural school and a loading switch for cattle remained on the site. Today, Mendota is a ghost town.
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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