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America's Loneliest Counties
Stories and Stats from The Least Populated Most Remote Rural Counties in the US . . . See the full list
Founded in 1876, Borden County is the 11th in our list of least populated counties in the U.S.. As of 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there were 637 people who lived in the county making Borden County the 11th least populated county in the United States.
There are no towns or cities except the county seat within the 899 square miles that make up Borden County. There is one cafe where locals and visitors gather but no gas stations anywhere in the county.
In 2000 the census bureau reported the total county population as 729 and by 2005 the estimate was 651. Today the population estimate has dropped to 637.
Lisa Ramsey, petroleum landman and owner of Professional Research, LLC spent several weeks at the Borden County Courthouse doing mineral research in 2010. She recently wrote about her experience.
"They have Coyote Cafe across the street which I think is the only place to eat so all the farmers and city workers go there during the day" Ramsey commented in the LinkedIn's Professional Landman Jobs group.
"They are by far some of the nicest people I know. I forgot to fill my tank one day . . .", Ramsey recalls, "The Judge's wife told me to follow her in her car, that they have keys to a tank in town and put gas in my car and would not take money. "
Borden County is located at the edge of the Llano Estacado. The rolling, broken land of the county drains to the Colorado River and its tributaries and to Lake J. B. Thomas. The Caprock, Gail Mountain, and Muchakooga Peak are notable physical features.
Settlers were not attracted to the area that is now Borden County until the end of the nineteenth century. It was too distant from the United States Army's frontier outposts to be safe from Comanche raiders even after the Civil War.
Gail Mountain, also known as Gail Peak, is just west of Gail in central Borden The peak, with a height of about 2,900 feet above mean sea level, rises 342 feet above nearby Gail and is probably named after Gail Borden. The west Texas mountain was possibly at one time called Mount Jake, after Jake Auger, a soldier who served with Ranald S. Mackenzie in 1874.
The Great Depression of
the 1930s put an end to the burgeoning growth of the
county. By 1940 only about 12,000 acres of county land
was planted in cotton and only 233 farms remained in
Borden; only 1,356 residents were counted that year. The
discovery of considerable oilfields in 1949 did not
arrest the decline of Borden County population, although
it did provide fortunate ranchers and farmers with
another source of income. Ironically, today there is no
gas station in the county. The nearest place to fill
your car in in Post -- 32 miles away in Garza County.
UPDATE by Lisa Dennis Mahler with the Borden County Museum
There are now two cafes and gasoline is available for purchase. Mushaway Peak is an important landmark. The county was named for Texas patriot, surveyor, newspaper owner and inventor of condensed milk, Gail Borden. The town of Gail was once an important stopover for pioneers moving into the open range of the Panhandle. Doctors, lawyers, land men, hotels (3); livery stations, pharmacy, general stores, saloons, blacksmiths, photographer, barber, bathhouse all centered around the courthouse square. Once the automobile became the means of mobility the town population decreased. The county remains proud of its heritage with a museum dedicated to those early settlers. Wide open spaces, beautiful night skies and clean air. Plus the local school is one of the best in Texas.
|Books about Borden County People and Places|