Sunray is at the junction of Farm roads 119 and 281, fourteen miles north of Dumas in northern Moore County. E. S. Collins established the community in 1929 near the Apache Refining Company's plant, the first industrial plant in the county. The town was originally named Altman, but the name was changed in honor of the Sunray Oil Company, which took over the plant in 1931. A post office was opened in 1930. Most of the buildings in Sunray were made of scrap materials from oil rigs. The town was incorporated in 1937 and reincorporated in 1945, when an application was granted by the state for a mayor-council government. Although a stone school building had been erected by 1930, rapid population growth often compelled the town to bus high school students to Dumas. Sunray is a shipping point on the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway for the area's ranching and petroleum industries. Its population was 1,524 in 1950, 1,967 in 1960, and 1,854 in 1970. In 1980 the town reported twenty-nine businesses and a population of 1,952. In 1990 the population was 1,729. The population reached 1,950 in 2000.

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.

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Place type

Sunray is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Altman)
  • (Beulah)
  • (Thomas)


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Sunray by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
1,707 2020 United States Census Bureau
1,813 2019 Texas Demographic Center
1,926 2010 United States Census Bureau
1,950 2000 United States Census Bureau
1,729 1990 United States Census Bureau