Electra, Texas

Last updated
Electra, Texas
Daddy-Long-Legs (1919) - Liberty Theater, Electra, Texas.jpg
Liberty Theater, Electra, showing a Mary Pickford movie in 1919.
Motto(s): 
"Wichita County's Best Kept Secret"
TXMap-doton-Electra.PNG
Location of Electra, Texas
Wichita County Electra.svg
Coordinates: 34°1′51″N98°55′2″W / 34.03083°N 98.91722°W / 34.03083; -98.91722 Coordinates: 34°1′51″N98°55′2″W / 34.03083°N 98.91722°W / 34.03083; -98.91722
Country United States
State Texas
County Wichita
Area
  Total2.4 sq mi (6.3 km2)
  Land2.4 sq mi (6.3 km2)
  Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation
1,220 ft (372 m)
Population
  Total2,791
  Density1,200/sq mi (440/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
76360
Area code(s) 940
FIPS code 48-22984 [1]
GNIS feature ID1356894 [2]
55, 000 bbl Oil Tank struck by lightning. Aug. 5, 1912, Electra, Texas P. F. Co.'s 55, 000 Oil Tank struck by lightning Aug. 5, 1912, Electra, Texas (7489933702).jpg
55, 000 bbl Oil Tank struck by lightning. Aug. 5, 1912, Electra, Texas

Electra is a city in Wichita County, Texas, United States. It is part of the Wichita Falls, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,791 at the 2010 census. [3] , down from 3,168 in 2000. Electra claims the title of Pump Jack Capital of Texas, a title made official by the state in 2001, [4] and has celebrated an annual Pump Jack Festival since 2002. [5] It was named in honor of Electra Waggoner, an heiress to the Waggoner Ranch. [6]

Wichita County, Texas County in the United States

Wichita County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 131,500. The county seat is Wichita Falls. The county was created in 1858 and organized in 1882.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.

Wichita Falls, Texas City in Texas, United States

Wichita Falls is a city in and the county seat of Wichita County, Texas, United States. It is the principal city of the Wichita Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Archer, Clay, and Wichita Counties. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 104,553, making it the 35th-most populous city in Texas. In addition, its central business district is 5 miles (8 km) from Sheppard Air Force Base, which is home to the Air Force's largest technical training wing and the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program, the world's only multinationally staffed and managed flying training program chartered to produce combat pilots for both USAF and NATO.

Contents

History

Daniel Waggoner started a ranch in present-day Electra in 1852. Around 30 years later, the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway was built, and its railroad tracks ran through the area. In 1885, Waggoner's son, William Thomas Waggoner, successfully lobbied railroad executives to build a railroad station at the site. By this time, the Waggoner ranch covered a half-million acres. Until this time, the town was called Waggoner, but following the building of the station and a post office in 1889, it was dubbed Beaver Switch, after the nearby Beaver Creek. The opening of 56,000-acre (230 km2) of land north of the railroad station brought more farmers to the area. The town was renamed again in 1907, this time after Waggoner's daughter, Electra Waggoner.

Daniel Waggoner was an early American settler and rancher in Texas. He also owned five banks, three cottonseed oil mills, and a coal company. He established the Waggoner Ranch, which spanned eight counties: Wise County, Clay County, Wichita County, Wilbarger County, Foard County, Baylor County, Archer County, and Knox County.

William Thomas Waggoner was an American rancher, oilman, banker, horsebreeder and philanthropist from Texas. He was the owner of the Waggoner Ranch, where he found oil in 1903. He was the founding President of the Waggoner National Bank of Vernon. He established the Arlington Downs and paid for the construction of three buildings on the campus of Texas Woman's University.

Water can be scarce in this region of Texas, so Waggoner started drilling for water for the town's new residents. Most of these drilling sites were befouled by crude oil, which made the water unfit for drinking. Three years later, a developer from Fort Worth named Solomon Williams bought the land from Waggoner. Sooner thereafter, he annexed nearby land, subdivided the land, and placed advertisements in national media trying to increase the population. His efforts were successful, and the town grew from a population of 500 to 1,000 between 1907 and 1910. The Waggoner family, still today, owns much of the same land they did in the beginning and still drill for oil in those parts.

In 1911, the Electra Independent School District was created.

Electra Independent School District is a public school district based in Electra, Texas (USA). In 2007, the district received a rating of "Academically Acceptable" (AA) from the Texas Education Agency.

On April 1, 1911, the Clayco gusher brought in an oil strike. Word spread quickly, and the population increased four-fold over a period of months. Fortunately, some infrastructure was already built in the town to handle the new residents.

Jasper "Jake" Smith, III (born 1935) of Vivian, Louisiana, worked in the summer of 1954 in the oil field of Electra. In his autobiography, Dinner with Mobutu: A Chronicle of My Life and Times, he recalls his experience:

Vivian, Louisiana Town in Louisiana, United States

Vivian is a town in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, United States and is home to the Red Bud Festival. The population was 3,671 at the 2010 census, down from 4,031 in 2000.

...We were fully integrated into the community of young men of Electra. I discovered that Texans were welcoming to newcomers, and I soon felt right at home.

Anyone who has seen the movie The Last Picture Show or read the book might recognize Electra, Texas. The Larry McMurtry novel was set in this approximate locale at this particular time - 1954. [7] The residents were pretty accurately portrayed in the novel. The main pastime for my cohort group was drinking beer and fighting. Some of the local toughs liked to travel to Wichita Falls to pick fights with airmen from the local Air Force base. I tried to avoid these fisticuffs since it was certain I would get my ass kicked.

<i>The Last Picture Show</i> 1971 film by Peter Bogdanovich

The Last Picture Show is a 1971 American drama film directed and co-written by Peter Bogdanovich, adapted from a semi-autobiographical 1966 novel The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry.

Larry Jeff McMurtry is an American novelist, essayist, bookseller, and screenwriter whose work is predominantly set in either the Old West or in contemporary Texas. His novels include Horseman, Pass By (1962), The Last Picture Show (1966), and Terms of Endearment (1975), which were adapted into films earning 26 Academy Award nominations. His 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Lonesome Dove was adapted into a television miniseries that earned 18 Emmy Award nominations, with the other three novels in his Lonesome Dove series adapted into three more miniseries, earning eight more Emmy nominations. McMurtry and cowriter Diana Ossana adapted the screenplay for Brokeback Mountain (2005), which earned eight Academy Award nominations with three wins, including McMurtry and Ossana for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Novel narrative text, normally of a substantial length and in the form of prose describing a fictional and sequential story

A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, normally written in prose form, and which is typically published as a book.

Electra was dry and dusty with hardly any big trees. The fields were covered with mesquite bushes, six to eight feet tall covered with two-inch thorns. People outside Texas had not yet discovered that mesquite is a powerful aromatic wood for smoking meat; so this prickly bush was considered a great nuisance, rather than a potential resource. The main assignment for us college boys working in the Electra oil field that year was to cut down mesquite bushes which crowded in on the oil fields. ... We would start whacking away at the mesquite bushes. By the end of the day, most of us were covered with bloody punctures from the sharp thorns. After a few days, these injuries usually became infected, causing one or more of the young roustabouts to visit the company doctor. About midway through the summer, the company decided that this mesquite project was getting to be too risky; so we were given other assignments. [8]

Mesquite

Mesquite is a common name for several plants in the genus Prosopis, which contains over 40 species of small leguminous trees. They are native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. The mesquite originates in the Tamaulipan mezquital ecoregion, in the deserts and xeric shrublands biome, located in the southern United States and northeastern Mexico. The region covers an area of 141,500 km2, encompassing a portion of the Gulf Coastal Plain in southern Texas, northern Tamaulipas, northeastern Coahuila, and part of Nuevo León. As a legume, mesquite is one of the few sources of fixed nitrogen in the desert habitat.

Roustabout worker who maintains all things in the oil field

Roustabout is an occupational term. Traditionally, it referred to a worker with broad-based, non-specific skills. In particular, it was used to describe show or circus workers who handled materials for construction on fairgrounds. In modern times it is applied to rural employment, such as those assisting sheep shearing, and positions in the oil industry.

In 1936, Electra had well over 6,000 residents, but by the 1960s, the population had decreased to just over 5,000. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex was growing, and many people moved away. By 2000, Electra's population had fallen to about 3,000.

Geography

Electra is located at 34°1′51″N98°55′2″W / 34.03083°N 98.91722°W / 34.03083; -98.91722 (34.030809, -98.917281). [9] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 mi2 (6.3 km2), all of it land.

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1910 640
1920 4,744641.3%
1930 6,71241.5%
1940 5,588−16.7%
1950 4,970−11.1%
1960 4,759−4.2%
1970 3,895−18.2%
1980 3,755−3.6%
1990 3,113−17.1%
2000 3,1681.8%
2010 2,791−11.9%
Est. 20162,722 [10] −2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census [11]

As of the census [1] of 2000, 3,168 people, 1,279 households, and 860 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,299.0 people per square mile (501.3/km²). The 1,529 housing units averaged 626.9 per mi2 (241.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.66% White, 4.58% African American, 1.10% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 4.29% from other races, and 2.30% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 8.68% of the population.

Of the 1,279 households, 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.7% were not families; 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city, the population was distributed as 27.7% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,022, and for a family was $30,116. Males had a median income of $25,610 versus $17,292 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,213. About 17.8% of families and 20.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.3% of those under age 18 and 15.4% of those age 65 or over.

Education

The City of Electra is served by the Electra Independent School District, which is composed of 210 sq mi (540 km2).

The three public schools are: B.M. Dinsmore Elementary School, with 225 students enrolled in prekindergarten through fourth grade; Electra Junior High with 172 students in grades five through eight; and Electra High School with 149 students enrolled in ninth through 12th grades. Electra High School's athletic teams are called the Tigers. The student/teacher ratio at each of the schools is 14:1, 13:1, and 9:1, respectively.

Notable people

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Electra has a humid subtropical climate, Cfa on climate maps. [13]

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References

  1. 1 2 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. "Population and Housing Unit Counts, 2010 Census of Population and Housing" (PDF). Texas: 2010. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  4. Bernadette Pruitt."A fading town's liquid legacy: Once-thriving Electra hopes 'Pump Jack' title brings new fortune," The Dallas Morning News, September 23, 2001. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  5. First Pump Jack Festival, photographs of the April 20, 2002, festival. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  6. "Waggoner Ranch: History" . Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  7. Larry McMurtry is a native of Archer City, Texas, not Electra, but Jasper "Jake" Smith, III, son of then Louisiana State Representative Jasper K. Smith, is making a loose comparison. The novel was during the Korean War, which ended in mid-1953.
  8. Jake Smith, Dinner with Mobutu: A Chronicle of My Life and Times. Xlibris Corporation. 2005. pp. 52–53. ISBN   978-1413499438 . Retrieved June 10, 2014.[ self-published source ]
  9. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  10. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" . Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  11. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. "Electra, Texas Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved 13 March 2018.

Further reading