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Life in Hale County Tx 1850-1950


Hale County, Texas 1850-1950 as pictured in archived government photographs, vintage postcards, old school yearbooks, family albums, and newspapers from Abernathy, Cotton Center, Edmonson, Hale Center, Petersburg, Plainview and Seth Ward



Click on the photos or titles below to view full size

Nu-Griddle Cafe in 1960sNu-Griddle Cafe 1960s

The Nu-Griddle Cafe Was a popular place in Plainview Texas for decades. Here it is in the 1960s

First National Bank in Plainview in 1910First National Bank in Plainview in 1910

Large group of people gathered in front of the First National Bank in Plainview Texas in this hand tinted postcard postmarked June 19, 1910

Irrigation in Hale County in 1911Irrigation in Hale County in 1911

Remarkable photo postcard of irrigation near Plainview Texas in this photo postmarked January 20, 1011

Wayland Baptist College in 1957Wayland Baptist College in 1957

Very nice photo of Wayland Baptist College in Plainview Texas in 1957 with vintage cars

Hale County Courthouse in 1949Hale County Courthouse in 1949

Very nice photo of the Hale County County Courthouse in Plainview Texas in 1949 with vintage cars parked on the brick street

North Broadway in Plainview in 1930sNorth Broadway in Plainview in 1930s

Amazing photo of North Broadway in Plainview Texas in the early 1930s showing great detail of Hotel Ware, Smith Dry Goods, the Olympic Theater, First National Bank and the city Windmill. The street is lined with old cars and trucks including an early bus

First Christian Church in 1950sFirst Christian Church 1950s

Nice photo of a beautiful church in Plainview Texas in the 1950s: First Christian Church

Wayland Hotel in PlainviewWayland Hotel in Plainview

Rare photo of the Wayland Hotel in Plainview Texas in the 1930s

Mule Powered Road GraderMule Powered Road Grader

Keeping the ruts out of the dirt streets of Plainview Texas in 1909 required two men, six mules and an umbrella supplied by the local hardware store.

Presbyterian Church Plainview in 1925Presbyterian Church Plainview in 1925

In 1925 a photographer captured this huge photo of the Presbyterian Church in Plainview Texas and inadvertently caught a man stumbling on the stairs about to take a bad fall

Grocery Stores in Plainview in late 1800sGrocery Stores in Plainview Late 1800s

In the late 1800s Plainview Texas had two grocery stores standing side-by-side under a huge windmill and they were covered up with customers who came in horse-drawn carriages, horses and on foot

Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Depot PlainviewAtchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Depot Plainview

In the early 1900s passengers gathered around the Plainview railroad depot to await the arrival of the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe train

Main Street in Plainview in 1929Main Street in Plainview in 1929

Busy day on Main Street in Plainview Texas on August 28, 1929 with period cars and trucks lining the street

Wayland Baptist College 1922 YearbookWayland Baptist College 1922 Yearbook

The cover of Wayland Baptist College yearbook featured notable buildings and machines unique to Plainview Texas

Solving The Murder of W.B. “Bill” MungerSolving The Murder of W.B. “Bill” Munger
For nine long months, mystery swirled around the disappearance of Plainview farmer W.B. “Bill” Munger until a former employee confessed to killing him and dumping his body in an abandoned well. Helping solve the mystery was future Wayland Flying Queens sponsor Claude Hutcherson, who volunteered to be lowered 50 feet into the abandoned irrigation well where he found the decayed remains of the 52-year-old victim . . .
read more
Harvesting Wheat near Petersburg Texas in 1890Harvesting Wheat near Petersburg Texas in 1890

Sometime around 1890 every member of the Arthur Barton Cheves family and four horses were needed to harvest wheat near Petersburg in Hale County Texas.

After a Tennis Game at Wayland College in 1922After a Tennis Game at Wayland College in 1922

In 1922 Virgil Lemons, Ruth Kiser and Van Foster posed after a tennis game at Wayland College in  Plainview Texas. Tennis outfits were a little different in those days!

Margaret and Eddie Miller at PlayMargaret and Eddie Miller at Play

Sometime in the 1920s Margaret and Eddie Miller were playing in their yard with their cat in Plainview Texas when an unknown photographer captured this photo.

Dr. E. M. and Mrs. Harp homestead 1890sDr. E.M. and Mrs. Harp homestead 1890s

In the 1890s Dr. E.M. and Mrs. Harp at their panhandle homestead in Hale Co., Texas with their children, dog, cow, and chickens. Dr. Harp was one of the first physicians on the high plains. Since there were no roads at that time, he plowed furrows radiating from his house so patients could find their way to his home office on his ranch. The lumber for the house was hauled by wagon from the rail terminal in Amarillo.  . . .

Pearl Hucherson with grandsons in 1935Pearl Hucherson with grandsons 1935

In 1935 Pearl Hutcherson posed with with two of her grandsons in Plainview Texas
Pearl graduated from Texas Tech in 1928. She began her married life in a dugout in Scurry County in 1900 and worked in her role as a rancher's wife.
. . . Photo courtesy Brent Lemons

Ruby Hutcherson Lemons and SonsRuby Hutcherson Lemons and Sons

In 1933 Ruby Hutcherson Lemons sat on the bumper of a car in Plainview with her sons, Carl (Sonny) and Warren. Ruby taught music at the Gatesville Reform School for Boys for 8 years. Her first son, pictured on left, was born with severe cerebral palsy. Carl Norman (Sonny) Lemons never spoke, walked or used his hands. She refused to institutionalize him and took care of him from 1929 until her death in 1973. He lived until the age of 64 after being told he wouldn't live six months.

Circuit Riding Preacher of the PanhandleCircuit Riding Preacher of the Panhandle

Sometime in the 1870s a circuit riding preacher named Sinclair posed for this rare photo with his horse team that carried him on a 250 mile circle across the windswept Texas Panhandle and Eastern New Mexico preaching, providing baptisms, weddings and funerals for pioneers in the area. Mr. Sinclair died in 1900

Baptism Near Plainview TexasBaptism Near Plainview

In the late 1880s after a rain near Plainview Texas created a natural Baptism trough,  wagons lined up and pioneers clamored to take advantage of the opportunity and witness the event ...

Joe Phillips on His Farmall Tractor in 1950sJoe Phillips on His Farmall Tractor in 1950s

Very nice image of Joe Phillips on his Farmall Tractor in Hale County Texas in 1950s

Farm Family Near Plainview Texas in 1930sFarm Family Near Plainview in 1930s


Farm House in Hale County 1937Farm House in Hale County 1937


J. Frank Norfleet, Deputy Sheriff, of Hale CenterJ. Frank Norfleet, Deputy Sheriff, of Hale Center

This amazing photo of J. Frank Norfleet (on left) was taken between 1921 and 1924. At age 55 Norfleet became a famous international manhunter when he single-handedly captured a gang of criminals who had swindled him out of $45,000 in 1919. The man on the right is W.H. Mercer, Secy. to Senator Mayfield. 

Plainview City Hall and Fire Station in 1920sPlainview City Hall and Fire Station in 1920s

Some time in the 1920s fire fighters and local officials climbed aboard the fire truck and posed for this old photo postcard to promote Plainview

Downtown Plainview Texas in1897Downtown Plainview Texas in 1897

Mules, Horses and Wagons from two freight teams line Plainview's dirt street in front of early stores including Mrs. M. B. Fowle Dry Goods, Irick and Dyer Groceries, City Drug Store, Williams Bro's. Cheap Cash Store, Donohoo and Ware Dry Goods . . . Huge photo see full size

Plainview Texas in 1890Plainview Texas in 1890

Photo of Plainview Texas in 1890 showing wide dirt street with cattle, horse-drawn freight wagons and Melton Leach Mercantile store. The idea of founding a town here began in 1886 when Z. T. Maxwell moved with his family and 2,000 sheep from Floyd County and established a farm . . . Read more and view photo full size

Dimmitt Hotel Moved to Plainview in 1893Dimmitt Hotel Moved to Plainview in 1893

In 1893 a two-story hotel was moved 45 miles from Dimmitt Texas to Plainview Texas. This remarkable photo is believed to have been taken when it arrived . . . see full size

Wagon Train to PlainviewWagon Train to Plainview

As late as 1904, immigrants were still making their way to the Texas Panhandle by wagon train. This photo, believed to have been taken near Littlefield, shows horses pulling covered wagons on their way to a new life in the Plainview Texas area . . . zoom in

North Side of Square in Plainview in Early 1900sNorth Side of Square in Plainview in Early 1900s

Sometime in the early 1900s an unknown photographer took this large detailed photo of the north side of the courthouse square in Plainview Texas showing horse-drawn carriages and one early car with white tires parked on the dirt street . . .  Tap the photo to see full size

Wayland Baptist College 1908 Plainview TexasWayland Baptist College 1910

Staff and students appear in this photo of Wayland Baptist College in September 1910. Boys on the right dressed in black and girls on the left dressed in white.
 ... zoom in

Mail Carriers Deliver Mail on Harley Davidson in 1915Mail Carriers Deliver Mail on Harley Davidson in 1915

Mr. and Mrs. Bishop paused for this photo in front of the Santé Fe Rail Station in Plainview before making their RR 1 mail route on a Harley Davidson in Hale County Texas in 1915 . . . see this amazing photo full size

Plainview & Lubbock Stagecoach in 1907Plainview & Lubbock Stagecoach in 1907

Plainview & Lubbock stagecoach being pulled by mules with four passengers seated inside the stagecoach on a Sunday in Lubbock Texas in 1907. The driver is W. M. Crawford who owned the stage. The time to make the trip . . . Read more See full size

Restriction Street Before 1916Restriction Street Before 1916

Was there ever a street named Restriction in Plainview Texas? Yes, until 1916 when the city council renamed it 11th street. The inscription on this photo shows 1842 as the date. Not likely, as Plainview wasn't founded until 1888. Before that there just wasn't much around here except flat open Prairie. Take a closer look

Plainview High School Under Construction in 1916Plainview High School Under Construction in 1916

With two stories up and one to go, construction workers, students, teachers and parents posed for this large highly detailed photo of the Plainview High School in 1916 . . . see full size

Steam Engine Powers Silo Near Plainview Texas in 1912Steam Powered Silo in Hale County in 1912

Steam Engine powers a silo on a farm near Plainview Texas in 1912 as men on horseback and farmer's wife look on . . . take a closer look

Baptized in Stock Tank in Petersburg TexasBaptized in Stock Tank in Petersburg

In the early 1900s a crowd gathered around an earthen stock tank near Petersburg Texas to witness Robert Hall being baptized by a Church of Christ minister . . See full size image

Irrigation in the 1950sIrrigation in the 1950s

Did you ever pump an aluminum tube to siphon water from an open ditch? Here's how it was done in Hale County Texas in the 1950s. Some farmers were so good at it they could set a tube with one hand and from the far side of the ditch ... See full size

Duck Hunt Plainview Texas December 1931Duck Hunt Plainview Texas December 1931
Marketing Wheat Plainview Tex 1910Plainview Texas Wheat Market in 1910
Corner of North Pacific Street, Plainview TX 1920Corner of North Pacific Street, Plainview TX 1914

In 1914 a large crowd gathered in front of the First National Bank on Pacific Street in this huge photo of Plainview residents, early cars, carriage and a man on horseback . . . see full size

Schick Opera House Plainview TX 1916Schick Opera House Plainview TX 1916
Ware Hotel Plainview Tx c1925Ware Hotel Plainview Texas in 1925

Ware Hotel Plainview Texas in 1925 with South Plains Drug and Stubbs Men's Store

1907 BuickA Trip from Tahoka to Floydada in a Buick Named Callie

In 1907 the Lynn County News documented a family's journey from Tahoka to Floydada via Lubbock, Plainview and Lockney in a Buick named Callie. It's a fascinating story of the people they traveled with and the people From Tahoka, Lubbock, Plainview, Lockney and Floydada . . . see the article

PB Snyder Strawberry Farm Plainview Tx in 1910sPB Snyder Strawberry Farm Plainview Tx in 1910

Picking strawberries on the P B Snyder farm six miles south of Plainview in 1910.

Plainview Lake, Plainview Texas in 1913Plainview Lake in 1913

In 1913 Plainview Lake was filled by an irrigation pump with fourteen million gallons of water after 158 hours and was the largest body of water in Texas supplied by a well. It covered thirty acres and had a depth of five to six feet. The lake was a popular . . . Read more

Hale County Farm Scene 1940sHale County Farm Scene 1940s

Landowner Joe Phillips, Mr. T.A. Knight and son Marvin whose family lived on the 360 acre half-section of land near Plainview, Texas for over 30 years.

Bob Burnett Hale Center Tx 1939Bob Burnett of Hale Center Texas Advertises for Texaco in  1939

If you like these images, you can browse and view more than a thousand images of early life in Texas in eBay's Historical Texas Collection. . .


West Texas History & Memories

Early Life in Texas County by County

Books about Texas People and Places

Amazing People from Texas County by County

Texas History in the 19th Century (Amazon)

Texas History by Category and Event

Books about Plainview, Hale Center, Petersburg and Abernathy


Plainview . Texas 79072 . My Hometown

Amazing People from Hale County Texas

Amazing People from Hale County TexasStories about people from Plainview, Hale Center, Petersburg and Abernathy Texas

Books about Hale County People and Places

Books about Hale County People and PlacesBooks about People from Plainview, Hale Center, Petersburg and Abernathy Texas

Gene & Elna Bloys 1947A True Texas Love Story

What Happens when a Rowdy City Boy from Plainview Meets a Pretty Farm Girl from Lockney Texas?

Tap the photo to find out


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
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