O'Donnell is on U.S. Highway 87 at the Lynn-Dawson county line. It lies mostly in southern Lynn County. It was established in 1910 by a group of promoters involved with the construction of the Pecos and Northern Texas Railway from Slaton to Lamesa. The brothers T. J. and A. F. O'Donnell allied themselves with Charles Doak, former sheriff of Lynn County, and H. E. Baldridge to form a town on the new railroad; it was to be called O'Donnell City. In June 1910, lots were sold and a town began; by 1912 the town had a post office, a gin, a hotel, a real-estate office, and a general store. At first the local economy was dominated by cotton farming and ginning. A bank opened at the town in 1919, when the population was 300, and a movement began for incorporation, which occurred on May 5, 1923. By 1930 the town had 1,026 residents; it grew to 1,187 by 1940 and to 1,238 by 1980. The Pecos and Northern Texas Railway later merged with the Panhandle and Santa Fe system, and by 1999 all remnants of the railroad in O'Donnell were abandoned and removed.
O'Donnell at a Glance
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O'Donnell by the Numbers
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|704||2020||United States Census Bureau|
|827||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|831||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|1,001||2000||United States Census Bureau|
|1,102||1990||United States Census Bureau|