Winchell is located twenty-one miles southwest of Brownwood on U.S. Highway 377 near the McCulloch county line in southwestern Brown County. First named either Broadtown for E. J. Broad who built a store there, or Brown Town for a man who built the store, the town was founded about 1900. The name was changed to Winchell in 1903 probably in honor of B. L. Winchell, president of the Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railway, which had built through the town on its way to Brady. Charles Wilson was the first postmaster. After the railroad came through other buildings were built near the line, including a depot and an entire block of businesses. In 1914 the town had a population of 300, several businesses, and a cotton gin. In 1924 or 1925 the post office and all the other businesses on the block burned and were never rebuilt; however, postal service was continued until 1958. During the 1920s the Winchell school was taught by four teachers in a two-story building. In the early 1930s the high school was consolidated with the Brookesmith school, followed by consolidation of the elementary grades in the early 1940s. During this time the town had two churches, three business, and clustered dwellings, mostly along the highway. In 1940 Winchell had four businesses and a population of ninety, and in 1962 it had two businesses and a population of ninety. In 1965 the number of residents remained at ninety, but Winchell had no rated businesses.
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.
Jeanne F. Lively | © Texas State Historical Association
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