Related Articles

America's Loneliest Counties

Fastest Growing Counties 

America's Best Rural Counties

West Texas Land Auctions

Texas Ranches for Sale

Texas Town for Sale on eBay


Five Acre River Front Property Sold in Loving County, Texas

Five Acre River Front Property in Loving County Sold at auction May 2, 2006 for $6,100.00

Richest Little County In America

In a photo journal report, reported in July 2011 that Loving county was the richest little county in the U.S. Measured per capita, the residents of Loving County, Texas are amongst the nation's wealthiest.

The average per capita income of a Loving County resident is $89,471.

The Only Game In Town

According to, the seventy Loving County residents spent $ 56,509.00 on Texas Lottery tickets in 2004.


Loving County Courthouse

Loving County Courthouse,


Welcome to Loving County, the Land Without Lawyers

John Council
Texas Lawyer
October 8, 2004

Imagine there are no lawyers. It's easy if you try. No litigation to bother us. Above us only sky.

Loving County is famous for what it doesn't have. There are no active schools, no movie theaters and no grocery stores -- it's a 50-mile round trip to buy a loaf of bread.

And not one of its residents holds a law degree.

"Well, goodness," says Billy Hopper, Loving County's chief deputy sheriff, "if you've got to have rattlesnakes or lawyers, which one would you have?"

Nevertheless, the Loving County Courthouse seems to run fine without them.  . . . Read the full article (registration required)


Objectivism Online

March 05, 2006

Demonstrating yet again the intellectual bankruptcy of the "revolt now, think later (if at all)" basic premise of Libertarianism, a faction of Libertarians recently attempted to borrow a page from the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh's playbook and take over a small rural town, this time in West Texas.

Like Antelope, Oregon, which had a similar population before the Rajneeshes took it over by immigrating en masse into a nearby ranch in the early 1980's, Loving County, and its only town (and county seat), Mentone, are barely populated.
Objectivism Online



America's Loneliest County

Loving County Texas

Click for Mentone, Texas Forecast

Land Auctions in West Texas
Record Keeping is easy at the Loving County Courthouse  Beverly Hanson, who serves as Loving County's district and county clerk. only needs four metal, double-row filing cabinets to store all the county's district court files dating back more than 30 years.

John Council
Texas Lawyer
October 8, 2004


"When I was little, I couldn't wait to leave," said Beverly Hanson, Loving County Clerk. Then, she said, "I went to see the bright lights" — she became an apartment manager in Dallas — married and divorced and happily returned home. "I knew I was safe here," she said.

Political Arena: August 2005
Libertarian National Committee

Free County Project? The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported July 13 that a five-acre island in the Upper Tampa Bay was recently put up for sale on Ebay. The current owner is Larry Pendarvis, who (according to the Times) wants to sell the land and use the money to "help finance a Libertarian-led government in remote Loving County, Texas -- population 67."

Free Towners Mess With Texas, Lose

February 25, 2006

Ringmasters of the Free Town Project show up in Loving County, and according to Sheriff Billy Burt Hopper, they're lookin' for trouble.

The Free Towners attempted to buy some land in the county with an eye toward moving in enough sympathetic citizens to allow them to "win most of the elected offices in the county administration" and "restore [Loving County] to freedom."
. . . Read



Collision in Downtown Mentone! or The Loneliness of the Long Distance Roadrunner

There is a Loving County Courthouse and a Loving County/Mentone post office. There may or may not be a café. It's hard to tell if it's open.

Our visit occurred on a Sunday morning, which traditionally is a slow day for Mentone. We were following a roadrunner down the main street (observing all traffic laws), hoping he/she would pause so we could photograph him/ her. There was a snake in his/her mouth, but this is not unusual. Especially in Mentone. The roadrunner was avoiding us and was still trying to keep his/her grip on the snake when it (the roadrunner) collided with a rabbit. Evidently the rabbit was so shocked at seeing humans that he/she froze and the preoccupied roadrunner almost impaled him/her with his/her beak. The rabbit quickly came to his/her senses and resumed normal rabbit activity in Sunday morning Mentone.  . .
TexasScapes Article


1 Cafe, 1 Gas Station, 2 Roads: America's Emptiest County

By RALPH BLUMENTHAL, New York Times Published: February 25, 2006

MENTONE, Tex. — How empty is Loving County...

So empty that when Sheriff Billy Burt Hopper ran for office in 2004, he and his opponent attended each other's campaign barbecues. So empty that it cannot sustain two political parties: Republicans and Democrats all call themselves Democrats and vote in a single primary. . .

Sheriff Billy Burt Hopper patrols Loving County, in West Texas, in a pickup truck with two shotguns and an AK-47.

Land for sale in or near Loving County Texas

Libertarian Faction attempts takeover of Loving County

The newly elected sheriff had barely pinned on his star in January 2005, he recalled, when his phone rang with an old-fashioned warning: "You don't know it, but you're in trouble." A group was planning a takeover of the county, said the caller, a woman in Arizona who promised to send him some information by e-mail. . .
Read the full Article from the New York Times (Registration Required)

Alleged Conspirators Respond to Foiled County Takeover

In November of 2005 Texas Rangers notified Libertarian Larry Pendarvis that  he and other Libertarians were wanted for 'knowingly making a false statement on a voter registration application'. The charges could be upgraded to conspiracy. Pendarvis responded with charges of his own.  . . Pendarvis responds


Barren West Texas County's population keeps dwindling

Loving Co., Mentone, Texas 
By Chris Roberts ­ Associated Press, Mar 18 2001

MENTONE--Smoke 'em if you got 'em at the Boot Track Cafe in Loving County. And leave the plastic in your wallet when the bill comes, because credit cards aren't accepted.

"The rules that apply a lot of places don't apply here," said Don Creager, a Loving County judge for 28 years." We just live a different lifestyle. We like it the way it is."

Empty is the way it is: Over the past decade, no county in the Lower 48 states has had fewer people than this slice of West Texas tucked underneath New Mexico.

Loving County' population dropped from 141 in 1992 to 113 two years ago and was just 67 last year, according to census figures released this week.

There is no grocery store here, or bank, or hospital. not even a cemetery. No doctors or lawyers. The nearest sizable city is Pecos, 20 miles to the south, with about 9,500 people. and even they go to Odessa for big shopping trips.

Loving County is so vacant that each inhabitant could claim 10 square miles as his or her own. City dwellers in Manhattan get 400 square feet.

There are not a lot of rules and regulations, meaning smokers can light up anywhere in Loving County's only sitdown eating establishment.

"You go up to Austin and you can't smoke anywhere," Bott Track owner Charles Derrick says as he takes a drag on a filterless cigarette. "You step outside the hotel (to smoke) and they ask you what you're doing there."

The wide-open spaces are knotted together by a few roads that lead to enjoy a community bond that insulates them against crime and juvenile delinquency.

The county's population plummeted 37.4 percent between 1990 and 2000--more than any other Texas county. No families are moving in and residents expect little change.

County Commissioner Royce Creager said oil and gas yield 98 % of tax revenue, about $1 million in 2000. the median income in 1997, the latest figure available, was about $32,000. Most adults work in the oil patch.

The county's 10 school-age children travel to Wink, 26 miles from Mentone, to learn their lessons.

The county has been around since the late 1800's. It was named for Oliver Loving, a cattleman who was mortally wounded by Indians as he rode ahead of his herd in 1866.

The county's population peak might have been in 1933, when 600 people lived here, most of them hoping to cash in on an oil boom that started in the mid- 1920's.



Video Tour of Mentone Texas




Privacy Policy