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Life in Motley County Tx 1800 to 1950


Motley County, Texas from 1800's to 1950 as pictured in archived government photographs, vintage postcards, old school yearbooks and newspapers. Click on photos to view larger.

Click on the photos below to see full size images
Matador Ranch Bunkhouse in 1908Matador Ranch Bunkhouse in 1908

At the Matador Ranch Bunkhouse in 1908 four cowboys and a lady posed with the ranch hounds

Main Street Matador in 1950sMain Street Matador in 1950s

Matador Texas as it appeared in the 1950s near the Matador Auto Co Ford Dealership

Cowboys Washing Clothes in 1905Cowboys Washing Clothes in 1905

In 1905 three cowboys wash their clothes and hang them to dry wherever they can on the open prairie of the Matador Ranch in Motley County Texas

Cowhands and Cattle Near Matador in 1900Cowhands and Cattle in Matador in 1900

It was a Peaceful day on the Matador Ranch when this image was captured of two cowhands tending cattle in Motley County Texas in 1900

Chuck Wagon Crossing Dry River in 1908Chuck Wagon Crossing Dry River in 1908

In 1908 an unknown photographer captured this great old photo of a chuck and bedroll wagon crossing a dry river on the Matador Ranch

Line Camp & Headquarters Matador Ranch in 1908Line Camp & Headquarters Matador Ranch in 1908

In 1908 George Pattullo, writer and cowboy from Boston, waits for Harry Campbell, Matador cowboy, to finish saddling up in front of the line camp that served as original headquarters for the Matador ranch in the 1880's.

Roaring Springs Texas Railroad Depot in 1914Roaring Springs Texas Railroad Depot in 1914

Sometime around 1914 the Matador Land & Cattle Company truck, loaded with six men sitting on feed sacks, parked in front of Roaring Springs railroad depot for this amazing, crystal clear image. Note the truck appears to be chain driven . . .

Matador Ranch Chuckwagon in 1906Matador Ranch Chuckwagon in 1906

Cook on the Matador Ranch in 1906 stirs a boiling pot under a tarp attached to the chuck wagon while a cowboy in the background is either eating something with both hands or playing his harmonica.

Family with Chickens at Turtle Hole in 1879Family with Chickens at Turtle Hole in 1879

Family poses at Turtle Hole in northeastern Motley County while their chickens run from photographer in 1879. A post office stop between Childress and Matador operated there for a short time . . . Read more view full size

Quanah Parker and his Wives in 1905Quanah Parker and his Wives 1905

Quanah Parker, the last Comanche chief, and and three of his wives relax by the pond at Ballard Springs on the Matador Ranch in 1905

Cowboy Gets a Haircut on the Matador Ranch in 1908Cowboy Gets a Haircut on the Matador Ranch in 1908

Photo by famed cowboy photographer Erwin Smith . . . See full size photo

Motley County Railroad Opens in 1914Motley County Railroad Opens in 1914

Birdseye view of Celebration of the opening of Motley County Railroad in Matador Texas . . . look closer

Jim & Byrd Wideman Jackson Wedding Stephenville 1900

Wedding Photo of Jim and Byrd Jackson in 1900

From an article by Janelle Jackson Shirley from Matador Texas.

"Today was the day, the year 1922. All good-byes had been said and now it was time to walk out the door of their Erath County home for the last time. Ever since the decision was made to move to West Texas, Byrd had tried to reassure her children about leaving their childhood home for a new home in the west" . . . read more


Family Makes Camp Outside Matador Texas  in 1890'sFamily Makes Camp Outside Matador in 1890's

In the 1890's a family made camp outside Matador. Photo shows the Motley County Jail in background

Carouth Family Traveling to Terry County through Roaring Springs 1922Carouth Family Traveling to Terry County through Roaring Springs 1922

Carouth Family Stops in Roaring Springs in covered wagons on their way to settle in Terry County in 1922 . . . Take a closer look

Jeff Davis BooneJeff Davis Boon

Former Matador Ranch cowboy and owner of the Dew Drop Saloon Jeff Davis Boone was fatally wounded in the Motley County courthouse in 1892 when he picked a fight with newly elected Motley county Sheriff Joe Beckham . On September 21, 1892, a grand jury indicted Beckham for assault to commit the murder of Jeff Boon. The district judge moved the case to Floyd County (Floydada) . . . Read more

Cleaning Rifle at a Matador Ranch Line CampCleaning Rifle on Matador Ranch

In 1908 Harry Campbell cleans his Marlin rifle at a dugout line camp on the Matador Ranch in Texas

Matador Ranch Cowboys in 1940sMatador Ranch Cowboys in 1940s

Matador ranch hands pictured left to right have been identified as Unknown, Robert Thornton, Bill Hemphill, Wildhorse Melvin Warren (Wagon Boss), Rosie Deaton, Wishie Derickson, Alfred Irwin, Johnnie Cavitt, Cliff Stevens, Polecat Vinson (Cook), Unknown, and Ellis Key. Photo is from E.D. Smith Collection . . . see full size

Matador Girls Basketball Team 1941Matador HS Girls Basketball Team 1941

Pictured from left to right, Jaunita Mize (manager), Mary Ruth Muse, Frances Carpenter, Eugenia Tilson, Mary Ellen Barton, Wandean Garrison and Coach Hugh Grey. Second Row: Ruby Burton, Janell Jackson, Ruth Jameson, Lucille Plumlea and Grace Lavern Tilson ... See full size


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)

Vintage Texas Photos (eBay)

Motley County, TX History and Genealogy

Texas History and Frontier Genealogy

Books about Motley County People and Places

Books about Motley County People and PlacesBooks about Matador, Roaring Springs, Whiteflat and the Matador Ranch

Famous People from Motley County TexasMore People from Motley County Texas

Motley County Treasure on eBay

Rare Artifacts, Books, Memorabilia and Historical Documents from Matador, Roaring Springs, Tee Pee City and Whiteflat Texas

Browse Motley County Treasures



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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