Texon, in southwestern Reagan County eighty-five miles west of San Angelo, was named for the Texon Oil and Land Company, which drilled the Santa Rita oil well in 1923. Shortly thereafter Pittsburgh wildcatters M. L. Benedum and Joe Trees purchased some of the Texon Company's leases and formed the Big Lake Oil Company to develop the field. From 1924 to 1926 the BLOC president, Levi Smith, planned and built Texon for employees and their families south of the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway tracks. At a time when oil towns denoted wildness, Texon was considered a model oil community. In addition to houses, BLOC provided a grade school, a church, a hospital, a theater, a golf course, tennis courts, and a swimming pool for its residents, who numbered 1,200 in 1933. Smith, an avid baseball fan, sponsored the Texon Oilers, a semiprofessional team composed of company employees. Privately owned businesses housed in company buildings included a drug store, a cafe, a boarding house, a tailor-shop, dry-goods and grocery stores, barber and beauty shops, a service station, a dairy, an ice house, and a bowling alley. By World War II oil production was declining, and with no new wells, fewer employees were needed. By 1952 the population had fallen to 480. In 1956 Plymouth Oil Company, another Benedum-Trees property, took over BLOC, and in 1962 ownership passed to Ohio Oil, now Marathon Oil, which chose not to maintain the town of less than 100 residents. In 1986 the post office was closed, and in 1996 less than ten people lived in Texon. The population was twelve 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.
Jane Spraggins Wilson | © Texas State Historical Association
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