Rankin, the county seat of Upton County, is in the southeast part of the county at the junction of U.S. Highway 67 and State Highway 349, ten miles west of the Reagan county line. It is in the heart of the Permian Basin and is the oldest town in the county, having been established in 1911. The town, named for early day rancher F. E. Rankin, was founded after Upland, then the county seat and eleven miles north, was missed when the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway was routed south instead of following the Butterfield Overland Mail route along Centralia Draw to the north. Rankin received a post office in 1912. Most Upland homes and businesses were moved to the new railroad town of Rankin, but it was not designated county seat until March 20, 1921. Rankin remained a small ranching community until the mid-1920s, when oil was discovered in the surrounding area. Santa Rita, McCamey and Yates fields opened up and the population soared. It was estimated at 1,500 in 1928.
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.
Rankin at a Glance
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Rankin is classified as a Town
Has Post Office
Photos of Rankin and surrounding areas
The Upton County Courthouse is located in the city of Rankin, Texas. Photograph by Larry D. Moore.
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Rankin by the Numbers
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|856||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|778||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|800||2000||United States Census Bureau|
|1,011||1990||United States Census Bureau|