Denver City, Texas

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Denver City, Texas
Denver City, Texas
Denver City, Texas
Location of Denver City, Texas
Location of Denver City, Texas
Yoakum County DenverCity.svg
Coordinates: 32°58′7″N 102°49′52″W / 32.96861°N 102.83111°W / 32.96861; -102.83111Coordinates: 32°58′7″N 102°49′52″W / 32.96861°N 102.83111°W / 32.96861; -102.83111
Country United States
State Texas
Counties Yoakum
 • Total 2.5 sq mi (6.5 km2)
 • Land 2.5 sq mi (6.5 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 3,573 ft (1,089 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 3,985
 • Density 1,594.5/sq mi (615.6/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 79323
Area code(s) 806
FIPS code 48-19984[1]
GNIS feature ID 1334272[2]

Denver City is a town located partly in Gaines County but mostly in Yoakum County in the far western portion of the U.S. state of Texas, just a short distance from the New Mexico boundary. It is named for the petroleum company, Denver Productions. The population was 4,479 at the 2010 census. The town is located at the intersection of Texas State Highways 214 and 83.

Oil and ranching remain important to Denver City. The first well was drilled by the wildcatter "Red" Davidson of Fort Worth on the ranch lands of L.P. and Ruth Bennett and her father, Dr. J. R. Smith. Oil gushed to the surface for the first time on October 10, 1935. A part of this Wasson Field, as it is known, is the site of the Yoakum County Park, donated in 1964 by Gene H. Bennett (1921–1998), the youngest son of the Bennetts.[3]

On May 11, 2013, voters in both Denver City and Yoakum County as well as Crosby County, also in West Texas, all previously under local-option prohibition laws, approved the sale of liquor.[4]


Denver City is located at 32°58′07″N 102°49′52″W / 32.968580°N 102.831218°W / 32.968580; -102.831218 (32.968580, -102.831218).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), all of it land.


As of the census[1] of 2000, 3,985 people, 1,366 households, and 1,102 families resided in the town. The population density was 1,594.5 people per square mile (615.4/km2). The 1,644 housing units had an average density of 657.8 per square mile (253.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 68.38% White, 1.53% African American, 0.78% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 27.60% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 47.15% of the population. Of the 1,366 households, 44.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.7% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.3% were not families. About 18.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.29.

In the town, the population was distributed as 31.4% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $29,418, and for a family was $35,972. Males had a median income of $35,156 versus $15,476 for females. The per capita income for the town was $13,921. About 18.2% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.7% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.

Cecil and Peggy Bickley[edit]

Cecil Bickley Library in Denver City

Bickley's Grocery, owned and operated by Cecil Alonzo Bickley, Jr. (1912–2004), and his wife, Peggy Patterson Bickley (1913–2007), was a mainstay of Denver City from 1939 until the couple retired in 1974. Thriftway Foods then became the only supermarket in Denver City.

The Bickleys met in the petroleum boom town of Kilgore in East Texas, but moved to Denver City when it, too, experienced oil discoveries. Bickley was born to Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Bickley, Sr. in the small community of De Leon in Comanche County in West Texas. The senior Bickley was actually named Columbus Alonzo, but used only his initials, C. A. Bickley's grandmother was born on a July 4 and given the unusual first and middle names, Americas Independence. For many years, Bickley was viewed as "Mr. Denver City". The roots of Denver City date only to 1936, as it was the last West Texas boomtown to have been established solely on the basis of oil, still vital to the area economy. He was a founding director of Yoakum County State Bank (now Wells Fargo), the first financial institution in the town. He was a charter member of both the Denver City Lions Club and the Chamber of Commerce. He was a Mason and a Shriner. He served on the Yoakum County Hospital Board. He promoted public schools, particularly athletics, music, and literary programs. Bickley was a founding alderman, having been elected to a single four-year term in 1940. In 1965, he was named the "Outstanding Citizen of Denver City".[6]

Peggy Bickley, a native of Bernice in Union Parish in north Louisiana, at first hated living in dusty West Texas, but in time became an energetic civic booster through the Order of the Eastern Star, the Denver City Museum, the Yoakum County/Cecil Bickley Library (named for her husband), annual American Cancer Society fund drive, the First United Methodist Church, and the Denver City Chamber of Commerce, which named her "Outstanding Citizen of Denver City" in 1984. The Bickleys had two children, Peggy Bickley Point of Austin (born Christmas Day 1941) and William Michael Bickley of Fort Worth (born October 7, 1946).[7] Peggy and Mike Bickley were born in Hobbs, New Mexico, because there was no clinic in Denver City at the time of their births.[8] Cecil and Peggy Bickley were Methodists. They are interred at the Denver City Memorial Cemetery.[7]


Climate data for Denver City, Texas (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 56.2
Average low °F (°C) 27.2
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.72
Snowfall inches (cm) 1.1
Source: NOAA[9]

Notable persons[edit]

  • Paul Leon Gooch (1928-2013), former alderman and mayor of Denver City, operated Dairy Mart and Broadway Superette, native of Muskogee, Oklahoma, member of Church of Christ, interred at Denver City Memorial Park Cemetery[10]
  • Bert Gravitt and Bill Gravitt, inductees of the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, 2010
  • Robert Edgar Self, Jr. (September 11, 1925—September 7, 2008), a businessman, served as mayor of Denver City from June 1978—April 1979. Elected to the city council in April 1975, he became mayor upon the resignation of Dan Harris. He served on the first Denver City zoning board and worked to gain approval of the Connor and Santa Fe housing additions. Born in Brownfield in Terry County, Self was an Eagle Scout, a graduate of Brownfield High School and Texas Tech University, and served in the United States Army during World War II. He was proprietor of Collins Department Store. Services were held in the Denver City Church of Christ. Interment was at Denver City Memorial Park.[11]
  • Woodson Wade Lindsey, Freida Lonette Lindsey: The Lindsey family was an integral part of Denver City as proprietors of Lindsey Hardware for over 50 years, until the retirement of Woodson Lindsey in 1996.


The city park has an area of four square blocks. with shade trees and a public swimming pool 12 feet in depth, which opens each year when school is not in session.


See also[edit]

Portal icon Texas portal


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Texas Historical Commission marker, State Highway 114, 1981
  4. ^ "Voters approve sales of alcohol in three elections". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, May 12, 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ Cecil Bickley, Oral History Collection, Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University
  7. ^ a b Peggy Patterson Bickley (obituary), Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, February 28, 2007
  8. ^ Statement of William Michael Bickley, 2007
  9. ^ "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Paul Leon Gooch obituary". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  11. ^ Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, September 8, 2008

External links[edit]