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Books About Winkler County Texas People and Places
What's Your Favorite Book about a Winkler County Texas Person, Place or Event? Here are some of our favorites about Winkler County, Kermit and Wink Texas.


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Lone Stars of DavidLone Stars of David: The Jews of Texas

"Moving yet again, Sam Weiner worked in Pyote, a West Texas town with more rattle-snakes than people, before reuniting his family in nearby Wink, located in Winkler county on the New Mexico state line. There he set up the Westerly Supply Company with a partner, Colonel Lawrence Orlow, in 1927. Each putting up two hundred dollars, they bought used equipment and pipe from major oil companies, repaired the machinery and straightened the pipe, then sold or bartered them to wildcatters. Wink was a wild boomtown. Scores of men rented cots by the shift in crude shacks. Violence and graft were common. When a sheriff's deputy arrested a dozen gamblers, a local mobster's enforcers broke into the jail, freed the men, and tethered the deputy in chains..." Read more Look inside

Washed in the Blood

The true story behind the Kiss and Kill murder in Texas in 1961. "The Winkler County Courthouse in Kermit, Texas, was built in 1929...The huge square latticed windows and three floor-to-ceiling doors suggest majesty and solemnity. Still it seems like and unlikely place to have held the most infamous murder trial in Odessa history. Nevertheless the killing had occurred in Winkler County, not in Ector County. Mack Herring's dad had hunting lease on a piece of property that sat just outside of Notrees that itself is just inside Winkler County, and the stock pond was on that property..." Read more Look inside

Haunted Places and Ghost Sightings Across Texas

The story begins during the early 1930's oil boom in Wink, Texas. Wink, at the time, was well known for being a renegade town with plenty of rough and tumble people working the less than desirable jobs of the time in the Hendrix Oil field, discovered in 1929."A young man and his very pregnant wife were broke and needing to get to Hobbs, New Mexico to find safe refuge with the wife's parents. Without funds, the young man robbed a local grocery store, got into hs vehicle and sped to the edge of town. There, a boy of about 12 was picked up and forced into the vehicle at gun point. Not knowing the way to Hobbs, the husband threatened the young man if he did not provide directions. The young man complied and directed the man north on what is now FM 1232..." Read more Look inside  . . . for more like this please see Mysterious Texas

Faithful Is He

Birdie Houston was born August 1, 1932 to Quintella and Albert in Wink, Texas. She attended school in Wink, Texas until she was in the 11th grade. This is her story of growing up in a small town, moving on to college, marriage, children, life, death, discovering God and His Grace...Read more

Captain John H. Rogers, Texas Ranger

In 1929 Sergeants Taylor, Laughlin and I with three other men went to Wink, Texas and made a raid on a gambling house. We caught seventy-three on Saturday night, and on the following Monday we caught two men running a still in Tulsa, Texas" Read more Look inside

Handbook of Texas Music

"Charlene Arthur was performing in Texas clubs and honky-tonks in 1949 when she recorded two songs for Bullet Records, one of which was "I've Got the Boogie Blues." She moved to Kermit, Texas, where she worked as a disc jockey and and singer for KERB and made a record for Imperial Records. There she was discovered by legendary Col. Tom Parker who later managed Elvis Presley. He signed her with RCA Victor in January 1953. She recorded twenty-eight songs with RCA..." Read more Look inside

Texas South Plains War Stories: Interviews with Veterans from World War II to Afghanistan

"J. L. "Heavy" Slaughter was born April 1, 1921 to James and Dola Slaughter in Terrell, Texas. When he was in elementary school, his family moved to Kermit Texas. J. L. came by his nickname "Heavy" honestly due to his large size. Always big for his age, he made the varsity football team in the sixth grade! His coach said he had so many stripes on his sweater (for each year he played) that he looked like an escaped convict. After high school graduation in 1939, J. L. considered playing college football. However, the world was going to war..." Read more Look inside  . . . See also Texas Football Stories

Spooky Texas: Tales Of Hauntings, Strange Happenings, And Other Local Lore

Suitably, hauntings and paranormal happenings in the Lone Star state are larger than life. Included in this must-read collection are tales of the ghost lights of Marfa, the werewolf of Elroy, and the Devil's brand in the eternal roundup of El Paso. Your hair will stand on end as you read about the mysteries and lore in Spooky Texas including the Restless Spirit in Wink, The Half-Clad Ghost in Waco, The Weeper in Laredo, No Trespassing in Amarillo, On the Front Desk in Bandera, Madstone in Socorro, Eternal Roundup in El Paso, The Gray Lady in Fort Worth, Lost and Found in Abilene... Here's 35 spooky tales from Texas . . . Read more, Look inside

Also See: Mysterious Texas

44 Years in the ER

Many a heroic story has been written about emergencies and emergency rooms. The stories in this book are true. Some will convince you that truth is stranger than fiction. "Barna Richards grew up in Ranger and Wink, Texas. He attended Wink High School, played on the 1952 state championship football team and graduated in 1954..." Read more Look inside

UNDERGROUND BASES & TUNNELS: What is the Government Trying to Hide?

Working from government documents and corporate records, Sauder has compiled an impressive book that digs below the surface of the military's super-secret underground! Go behind the scenes into little-known corners of the public record and discover how corporate America has worked hand-in-glove with the Pentagon for decades, dreaming about, planning, and actually constructing, secret underground bases. "SITE 8 - WINKLER AND NORTHERN WARD COUNTIES TEXAS. Access by vertical shaft. Located near the small towns of Kermit and Wink, Texas, 50 miles west of Odessa, access is by U.S. Highway 80..." Read more Look inside

Texas Ranger Tales: Stories That Need Telling

"One of the folks Leaving Borger at the suggestion of the Rangers was "Two Gun" Herwig. He went downstate to Wink, the newest oil field boom town. Forced out of Wink by Rangers there, he relocated to New Mexico, where he opened a joint and boldly proclaimed on a sign in front of the roadhouse: "Eight Miles From the Texas Rangers." Ranger Captain Will Wright, who had evicted Herwig from Wink, heard about the sign. Though noted for his sense of humor, Wright did not think the name Herwig had chosen for his latest business was very funny ..." Read more Look inside

Oil Booms: Social Change in Five Texas Towns

"Wink was not unusual. In both Odessa and Midland for example, boom growth from the thirties onward show up in death records as sudden surges of mortality from gastrointintestinal infection. Yet Wink, whose city officials did nothing to regulate food handling, ensure pure water, or control insects, had health problems... Wink, whose school football teams achieved near-legendary fame in the thirties, offers a good illustration of football's importance in the Permian Basin oil communities. Wink's high school football..." Read more

Spare Time in Texas: Recreation and History in the Lone Star State

In the oil boomtown of Wink, Texas, for instance, the prostitutes could patronize the same shops as others, but the beauty salons placed a folded newspaper on the seats of chairs for the respectable women to sit upon. And people told ... Read more Look inside

Rockabilly: A Forty-Year Journey

 This book is a straight-from-the-heart account of how the genre's greatest artists - author Billy Poore's personal friends - made their mark.

"Roy was born in Vernon, Texas, raised in Wink, Texas, and formed his first band, called The Wink Westerners, in 1951 when he was thirteen years old. Roy and his band played shows and dances all during the early fifties, not only doin' ... Read more

Orphan Child

"I started at my new school, Wink Elementary in the fall of 1969. I was put in the first grade. In 1969 the city of Wink and its school system was still not completely integrated, but it was getting there. One of the local town kids and I were the only black kids in my class. The mixture of students was about 90% Caucasian, 5% Hispanic and 1% other, meaning black Native American. All the same, though it was one of the finest schools I ever attended and the kids were all friendly and courteous to each other and to me. Like any school, if you were the new kid on the block you have to be picked on. Right! My first day of school was no different. Being one of the only black kids in the class made my first day even tougher. On my first day..." Read more   . . . for more like this please see Black History in Texas

The Tombstone Tourist: Musicians

"Moving from Vernon to Fort Worth, the Orbison family finally settled in Wink, Texas, where Roy grew up and went to high school. An awkward kid with thick glasses, Roy failed in sports and on the social scene. This made him all the more determined as he held on to his music and was involved high school band, glee club, and the chorus. By age sixteen, Orbison had his first band, the Wink Westerners, and..." Read more

To Right the Unrightable Wrong

"Dad sold the Conoco Station to take a job at the Pyote Army Air Force Base, a heavy bomber base, being built at Pyote, Texas, just over the New Mexico state line at the southeast corner of the State. We moved to the little town of Wink, Texas, a godforsaken West Texas town in the midst of the Odessa Oil Field almost due south of the eastern vertical border of New Mexico, surrounded by dry, sandy countryside, barren of anything except mesquite bushes, oil wells and gas flares. Wink offered the only rental housing available, a house on an unpaved street and the walk to school was only two or three blocks..." Read more Look inside

Handbook of Texas Music

"The Roy Orbison Museum in Wink, Texas, Orbison's boyhood home, contains musical memorabilia of the famed singer, and the Roy Orbison Festival takes place in Wink each June... Read more Look inside

The Big Book of Texas Ghost Stories

 Not much remains of the little white house, the the tree from which the man hanged himself is still there. People say that sometimes one can see three owls sitting on the limb under which the little girl spent many happy hours swinging. Some believe that the owls are the earthly forms of the spirits of the the three former occupants of the house. Wink would prefer that people think of the town as the boyhood home of Roy Orbison. However, the tragic tale of the ax murder that happened so many years ago still casts a pall on Wink, Texas... Read more Look inside

God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State

"You don't get to Wink, Texas , by accident . It's sixty miles west of Odessa , tucked below the corner of New Mexico , on a two - lane blacktop passing through the aptly named hamlet of Notrees and a town called Kermit after the son of Theodore Roosevelt who once came to hunt antelope. Seven miles south of Kermit is Wink. It is one of the many near-ghost towns stranded by an oil boom that came and went. In the 1920s thirty thousand people lived here. Wink was a den of gambling and prostitution..." Read more Look inside

Wink of an Eye: A Mystery

On the run from a double-cross, Las Vegas private investigator Gypsy Moran shows up unexpectedly at his sister Rhonda's house in Wink, Texas. She introduces Gypsy to one of her former students, 12-year-old Tatum McCallen, who is in need of Gypsy's services. Tatum wants to hire Gypsy to investigate his father Ryce's alleged suicide. His dad was a deputy with the Sheriff's department and was found hanged in their backyard... Read more Look inside

Broken Soldiers

"Claude Batchelor was nine when his father, who held various jobs during the depression then found work in the oil fields, moved his family to Kermit. There young Claude, who grew up to be of medium build and height, became a Boy Scout, went to school, and played the trumpet in the school band. He was a restless boy and at fifteen ran away from home for a few weeks. In the sixth week of his junior year, he quit high school and decided to join the navy. The recruiter wasn't available at the enlistment center so Bachelor joined the army instead..." Read more Look inside

My Sister's Keeper

Anna Sweet, ex-cop turned waitress, is bar-hopping her way across the U.S.A. But a middle-of-the-night phone call to Anna's hotel room in Kermit, Texas, is about to end her life on the road..." Read more Look inside

Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish

When two fellow trainers were killed by orcas in marine parks, Hargrove decided that SeaWorld's wildly popular programs were both detrimental to the whales and ultimately unsafe for trainers. "Sylvester Hernandez Jr. was born in Kermit, Texas, on June 1, 1956. his mother was Ramona Chavez, and his father was Sylvester Hernandez Sr. Both parents were from Texas ..." Read more

Windmills, Drouths and Cottonseed Cake: A Biased Biography of a West Texas Rancher

"The demands of the honky-tonk (which, in 1936, was the popular name in the "oil patch' for any place of business that sold beer and held dances) were taking a lot of his time; many more hours were wasted in the pickup, as he drove back and forth between Kermit and his ranch. A more more direct way would be opened shortly, but until then the route still passed through Wink. John found it increasingly difficult to furnish the necessary help for his only steady hand, a young man named Gene Forsythe..." Read more

Chasing Thugs, Nazis, and Reds: Texas Ranger Norman K. Dixon

As a Ranger, Dixon broke up the largest oil field theft ring in Texas history, worked to solve the most infamous cold case in Texas history... " Dixon and Trower traveled to Kermit, fifty miles west of Odessa, where Dixon using the name "Dick Edwards" and representing himself as a hot-bond salesman, arranged to buy stolen drilling bits from a Charlie Harris" Read more Look inside

Call Me Lucky: A Texan in Hollywood

I guess when you're with Hollywood royalty, “unknown” is the best you can hope for. During the time Mike was in Marfa, I met an old boy from Kermit, Texas, named Larry Spruill, who drove down to the set... Larry motioned me over. "I been watching you for a while," he said. "Looks like everybody know you, so I figure you might be half-important." To some, that might sound like an odd thing to say, maybe even an insult, but to a Texas it was high praise. Then he asked, Then he asked, "What kind of transportation to y'all have out here?" Turns out he was a car dealer back in Kermit..." Read more Look inside

The XIT Ranch of Texas and the Early Days of the Llano Estacado

Clark worked east from the vicinity of El Paso, marking the 32nd parallel to its intersection the the 103 meridian, roughly north of the site of Kermit, Texas. He then turned north and surveyed the 103rd for about twenty miles. Upon running short of water, he gave up the work from that end of the line in May. About that time sectionalism seems to have ... Read more Look inside

Shot Down: The true story of pilot Howard Snyder and the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth

Being officer's wives, they were able to find housing and lived in nearby towns: Ruth and baby Susan in Kermit, Texas, and Helen in Monahans, Texas, where she rented a bedroom from a local couple. Pyote was located in West West Texas and very near the southeast corner of New Mexico. It was in the middle of nowhere..." Read more Lookinside

Texas Indian Trails

"But the flatness is not absolute. Three types of features punctuate the surface oup on top: sand hills, which occur with increasing frequency toward the southwest Llano, making the area around Kermit, Texas, and nearby Jal, New Mexico, seem like a desert; "draws," or natural drainage routes, generally running northwest to southeast..." Read more Look inside

Notes From Texas: On Writing in the Lone Star State

"It was loosely based on a young soldier from Kermit, Texas. Since I covered his return home for the Odessa American, I saw Claude Batchelor twice for a total of maybe three hours before the army brought charges against him and took him away---not enough, by far, to get to know him or his story. Do you wonder why The Secret Music hit only sour notes?..." Read more Look inside

Authentic Texas: People of the Big Bend

"He met his wife Luisa when she was a student at Sul Ross State from Kermit, Texas, and they married on November 21, 1972. They have a son, Eric, and a daughter, Cynthia. Eric works in Alpine as a carpenter, welder, and handyman ..." Read more Look inside

Victoria Seacress: ...A Mystery

“Kermit, Texas?” “Yeah, that was it.” Eric took another bite of pizza, then spoke around the food. “What the hell kind of a name is that anyways?” “It's as dumbass as any town's name.” Victoria started to dig through more files, looking for a piece of paper she knew she had seen earlier ..." Read more Look inside

Growing Up Colt: A Father, a Son, a Life in Football

You watched him vie for the Heisman and national championship, and earn a third-round NFL draft spot. Now meet Colt McCoy up-close and personal!  "At any rate, you've already read how the wheels were greased for my departure from San Saba High School. From there we moved on to Kermit, Texas where I coached the Class 3A Kermit High football team ... which meant we were a good two hundred miles from family and our land interest outside of Abilene..." Read more Look inside

The Windows of Your Mind

"Hello---my name is Freddie Watson Dunlap---I live in Kermit, Texas... In 1945 we started back to New Mexico, but stopped on our way in Kermit, Texas where my dad found a job working at the new school they were building. We were certain we had come to the end of the world. We, kids, did not like it at all. However, when school started and we made new friends, it proved not to be too bad. We stayed in Kermit till the end of 1952, when me moved to Jal, New Mexico, 18 miles away ..." Read more Look inside

The Authorized Roy Orbison

Tells the epic tale of a West Texas boy, drawn to the guitar at age six, whose monumental global career successes were matched at nearly every turn by extraordinary personal tragedies, including the loss of his first wife in a motorcycle accident and his two oldest sons in a fire. "Roy's first son, Roy DeWayne Orbison, was born on Friday, April 18, 1958 in Winkler County, but soon Roy was back on the road, trying to keep his family afloat. The royalties just weren't coming in. On top of that ..." Read more

Cadillac Jack: A Novel

by Larry McMurtry

"One of Boog's problems is that he insisted on speaking in terms that can be understood by the common citizens of Winkler County Texas, the county his family happened to own. His brothers and sisters had all finally killed themselves off..." Read more Look inside


Well known for its oil and gas production, Kermit was originally founded by ranchers needing a supply hub in an isolated area of West Texas. An 1876 campaign by Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie helped rid the area of Comanche Indians. Prompted by the state's policy for free use of its land, ranchers quickly moved in. This population growth resulted in the establishment of Winkler County in 1887. Competition between nearby towns for the title of county seat lasted until 1910 . . . Read more Look inside

Castle Gap and the Pecos Frontier, Revisited

"Rising from the creosote and scrub mesquites east of the Pecos, the dunes that stretch two hundred miles north from Horsehead Crossing are governed by the wind. They shift at its command, burying and exhuming, and in 1901 the endless cycle revealed an anachronism in southeast Winkler County, Texas; a large wagon train that had been buned ... " Read more Look inside

Sinkholes and Subsidence: Karst and Cavernous Rocks in Engineering and Construction

"A small area near the town of Wink, in Winkler County, Texas, has developed tow catastrophic sinkholes and two zones of gentle land subsidence since 1980..." Read more Look inside

Wildcatters: Texas Independent Oilmen

"The Murchison Oil Company of Dallas thus obtained two temporary injunctions against Railroad Commission proration of its wells late in 1929 and produced 5400 barrels of crude a day from its Winkler County properties. The Railroad Commission could admonish producers to comply with regulation, but forcing compliance was beyond its statutory powers..." Read more Look inside

Easy Money: Oil Promoters and Investors in the Jazz Age

"Grant had gotten most of his leases at the bargain price of ten cents an acre, so he was able to offer Westbrook over 21,000 acres in Winkler County for $8000, a price even Westbrook could afford. Westbrook had no trouble raising the cash in Fort Worth, but he had to complete a test well before the end of the year to avoid paying $2,100 in annual rental fees. Cash short, Westbrook had to act fast..." Read more Look inside


Early Life in Texas County by County

Books about Texas People and Places

True Stories of Amazing People and Places in Texas (Facebook)

Texas History in the 19th Century (Amazon)

Vintage Texas Photos (eBay)

Life in Winkler County 1850 - 1960

Life in Winkler County 1850 - 1960Life in Winkler County 1850 - 1960


What's your Favorite Book about a Texas County, Town, Person or Place? Here's our best reads list County by County


Mysterious TexasTrue Stories of Amazing People and Places in Texcas
 Loneliest, Least Populated Counties in Texas
Texas Cowboy HistoryBooks about Texas People 

County by County