|Elevation||3,255 ft (992 m)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|Website||Handbook of Texas|
Becton is an unincorporated community in northeast Lubbock County, about 18 mi (29 km) northeast of Lubbock, Texas. This small rural community lies on the high plains of the Llano Estacado in West Texas.
Becton began as a ranching community and was originally named Bledsoe for W. E. Bledsoe of the Three Circle Ranch. Later, while applying for a post office in 1917, it was discovered that another Texas town was already named Bledsoe, so the name was changed to Becton, after Abner M. Becton, an early settler who donated land for a new school building.
Today, Becton is primarily a farming community and is surrounded by numerous sections of plowed land. The primary crop is cotton but lesser amounts of grain sorghum and winter wheat are also grown in the area. Crops are grown on a mixture of irrigated and dry-land farms. Water for irrigation is pumped from the underlying Ogallala Aquifer and is applied using center pivot irrigation systems. The aquifer is quickly becoming depleted and, sometime in the future, all farms may have to revert to dry-land cropping systems.
With regard to transportation, Becton is located around 1 mi (1.6 km) to the east of Farm to Market Road 400. The Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway, which extended from Estelline to Lubbock, used to pass through town but the BNSF Railway, which last owned and operated the railway, abandoned and removed the tracks in 1989.
The first school was a wooden, one-room building constructed by W. E. Bledsoe. The school also served as a church. It was moved to a new location in 1910 but later burned and was replaced by a new brick building in 1924. The Bledsoe Independent School District was one of the oldest in Lubbock County and at one time it was incorporated with the Estacado school district. In the summer of 1936, Bledsoe School consolidated and was absorbed by the Idalou school district.
In 1936, Becton had three businesses, two schools, a church, and a population of twenty-five. In 1946, there were still three businesses, and the population had increased slightly to 150. In 1974, Becton had no businesses and the population decreased to 125. In 1978 the community had three churches and a factory and in 1990 and 200, it had no businesses and 125 residents.
Where the Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway used to pass through Becton. The collapsed remains of a wooden railway overpass can be seen at the bottom of the roadcut.
- "Becton". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey.
- Jeanne F. Lively, " Becton, TX," Handbook of Texas Online, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlb17, accessed December 30, 2011, Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
- William C. Billingsley, "Fort Worth and Denver Railway," Handbook of Texas Online, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/eqf03, accessed December 26, 2011, Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
- Donald R. Abbe and Paul H. Carlson. 2008. Historic Lubbock County: an Illustrated History, San Antonio: Historical Pub. Network, p. 23.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Becton, Texas
- Becton, TX from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Photos of the Llano Estacado