The Ghost Town Story of Thurber Texas
A lone smoke stack along Interstate 20 is an historic monument to a once thriving Texas town.
Before there was Texas Oil, there was Texas Coal, and Thurber, Texas was the center of the action.
Between 1888 and 1921, Thurber Texas was one of the largest producers of bituminous
one of the first cities in the country to have electricity in every home
coal, and the largest "company town" in the state, plus they made bricks, Thurber Bricks. They had a population of over 10,000. And of that 10,000 there were 15 to 18 different immigrant groups, all living happily together.
It was the biggest city between Fort Worth and El Paso and one of the first cities in the country to have electricity in every home. Also, running water, and natural gas.
As of the 2010 census, there were 48 people living in Thurber.
How did such a thriving community just up and die. Oil, Texas Tea.
As the economy moved towards more petroleum based products, the town began to disappear. Coal mining went away in the 1920s, the brick plant was gone by 1932. When one company owns every building in the town, when they decide to move, that town dies.
One of the things that remain is the graveyard. It sits on a hill and has over a thousand residents. It's an odd thing to see such a large graveyard in a town of 48, but that should just give you an idea of how big a community Thurber once was.
So the next time you're traveling on Interstate 20, take a little time and visit a true Texas Ghost Town.