Ovalo is at the intersection of Farm Road 614 and U.S. Highway 83, on the Abilene and Southern Railway in southeastern Taylor County. The oval-shaped valley was an early camping place for buffalo hunters and a stop for trail drivers going through Buffalo Gap. The town was named the Spanish word meaning oval. The Abilene and Southern Railway Company, which laid tracks near Ovalo in May 1909, owned 50 percent of the Ovalo townsite property, and railroad men Col. Morgan Jones, Percy Jones, D. T. Bomar, and John W. Broad each owned 1 percent of the town. Lots went on sale in 1909, and in less than twelve months Ovalo had forty-six businesses and two churches. By 1914 the town also had its own bank. In 1920 the population was 300; ten years later it had doubled. Ovalo students attended the one-room Bald Eagle School until 1910, when a new school building was constructed, and the name was changed to Ovalo School. Ovalo School, along with surrounding rural schools, was consolidated into the South Taylor school during the 1947–48 school year. By 1988 the community of 200 had a post office, a Baptist church, and a combination grocery store and gasoline station. Many of the town landmarks, like the high school and the First State Bank of Ovalo, have been torn down. In 2000 the population was reported as 225.
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.
Libby Williams | © Texas State Historical Association
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