Kirtley, once known as Primm, is on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad and State Highway 71 in west central Fayette County. The surrounding land was originally patented to William Barton in 1831 and used primarily for farming and ranching. By 1840 a portion of the land near the Colorado belonged to William Primm, and a small community with a cemetery centered on his holdings. Primm's Lake, a nearby feature, perpetuates the name and still attracts hunters, fishermen, and picnickers. In 1902 a post office was opened that continued in operation until 1927, but the community never prospered. The only store was moved one-half mile to the highway and named Kirtley, and by 1950 the community had a population of forty and two businesses. In the latter half of the twentieth century the production of oil and gas and the extraction of sand and gravel obliterated all traces of the community of Primm, and local residents claim no knowledge of its existence. The name Kirtley exists on highway markers near Primm's Lake, but during the 1980s Kirtley had no businesses. A nearby recreational home development on the Colorado River named Pecan Point is the only concentration of residents in the area. In 2000 the population was forty-three.
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