Electra is on U.S. Highway 287 and State Highway 477 fifteen miles northwest of Wichita Falls in northwestern Wichita County. Daniel Waggoner began ranching in the area in 1852. In the mid-1880s the tracks of the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway reached the area. Shortly thereafter Waggoner and his son William T. Waggoner built loading pens and persuaded railroad officials to establish a switch at the site in 1885. The location was briefly called Waggoner, but with the construction of a depot and the opening of a post office in 1889, it was renamed Beaver, probably for Beaver Creek, beside which most of the original Waggoner ranchland was located. Within ten years Beaver provided businesses and a school for Waggoner employees. In 1902 residents selected the name Electra, in honor of W. T. Waggoner's daughter. In 1905 Waggoner sold the land to Fort Worth developer Solomon Williams. He and his partners formed the Electra Land and Colonization Company, which extended the city limits, subdivided the town lots, and advertised in national publications to attract residents. The company was successful, and in 1907 the community incorporated with a commission form of government and 500 residents. The town grew to an estimated 1,000 people by 1910, when Electra had a newspaper, a bank, and a number of churches. The Electra Independent School District was established in 1911.

W. T. Waggoner had drilled unsuccessfully for water. But oil was a different matter. On April 1, 1911, Clayco No. 1 blew in a mile north of Electra. News of the gusher spread rapidly and a boom resulted. The town's population reached 5,000 within months. Because Electra was an established community and the oil land was already leased, the plague of tent cities and the chaos that accompanied the discovery of oil in other areas never materialized. Many who rushed to Electra seeking quick profits, however, just as quickly departed.

Continue Reading

David Minor | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Waggoner is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Waggoner is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • ['s Ranch]
  • (Electra)

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated