Estelline, Texas

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Estelline, Texas
Nickname(s): The Speed Trap of Texas
Motto: Policing for Profits
Location of Estelline, Texas
Location of Estelline, Texas
Hall County Estelline.svg
Coordinates: 34°32′46″N 100°26′14″W / 34.54611°N 100.43722°W / 34.54611; -100.43722Coordinates: 34°32′46″N 100°26′14″W / 34.54611°N 100.43722°W / 34.54611; -100.43722
Country United States
State Texas
County Hall
 • Total 0.7 sq mi (1.9 km2)
 • Land 0.7 sq mi (1.9 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,834 ft (559 m)
Population (2012)
 • Total 143
 • Density 228.9/sq mi (88.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 79233
Area code(s) 806
FIPS code 48-24636[1]
GNIS feature ID 1357080[2]

Estelline is a city in Hall County, Texas, United States. The population was estimated at 143 as of 2012. A past 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimate placed the population at 155.[3]


Estelline is located at 34°32′46″N 100°26′14″W / 34.54611°N 100.43722°W / 34.54611; -100.43722 (34.546062, -100.437212)[4]. It is situated at the junction of U.S. Highway 287 and State Highway 87 in east central Hall County, approximately 14 miles southeast of Memphis and 15 miles northwest of Childress.[5] The nearest major city is Amarillo, located 102 miles northwest of Estelline.[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2), all land.


The community was established in 1892 by brothers Elam and Math Wright. It was named after Estelle de Shields, the daughter of an early settler. The area was originally part of the Diamond Tail Ranch. With the arrival of the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway, Estelline became a shipping point for cattle driven in from Paducah and Silverton.[5] A post office opened in May 1892. One of the earliest businesses in the community was the Estelline Supply Company. In 1896, the Mill Iron Ranch purchased the Estelline Supply Company and established a large store and lumberyard with R.L. Biggerstaff as its manager. He established a bank in 1898, which became Estelline State Bank in 1905. A two-story school was erected in 1909. Estelline citizens voted to incorporate in 1912, when the population exceeded 1,000.[7] During the 1920s, a permanent brick schoolhouse was built, and several nearby communities – Newlin, Parnell, and Tell – began sending their students to Estelline.[6] A branch of the railroad was built from Estelline to Plainview in 1927. The onset of the Great Depression severely impacted the town. By 1940, the population had fallen to just over 600. That same year, several businesses were destroyed by fire. Estelline's importance as a railroad junction town declined as subsequent improvements were made to area roads. There were 258 people living in the town in 1980. The Estelline Independent School District was declared dormant in 1987 and students were sent to Memphis schools.[8] Estelline was home to 194 residents in 1990, 168 in 2000 and 143 in 2012.[7]


As of the census[1] of 2012, there were 143 people, 65 households, and 39 families residing in the town. The population density was 228.9 people per square mile (88.9/km²). There were 93 housing units at an average density of 126.7 per square mile (49.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 77.98% White, 7.74% African American, 2.38% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 10.71% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 50.00% of the population.

There were 65 households out of which 21.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.0% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.49.

In the town the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 22.0% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 22.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 86.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $19,750, and the median income for a family was $34,167. Males had a median income of $22,188 versus $16,250 for females. The per capita income for the town was $11,519. About 16.7% of families and 21.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.4% of those under the age of eighteen and 22.2% of those sixty five or over.


The City of Estelline is served by the Memphis Independent School District located in nearby Memphis, Texas.

Speed trap[edit]

Estelline has a reputation for being a prominent Texas speed trap. A 2013 National Motorists Association survey listed the town as one of the largest speed traps in North America. [9] It has a one-person police force whose main purpose is to fill city coffers.[10] From 2000 through 2009, Estelline had the second highest traffic fine revenue per citizen in Texas, more than 300% the per citizen revenue of third place Domino.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

The town is also the setting of the stage play Harvest: A Texas High Plains Trilogy, which follows the life of farmer Rick Childress (named for nearby Childress, Texas.)

See also[edit]


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Estelline has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.[12]


  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. ^ "Table 4: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in Texas, Listed Alphabetically: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008" (CSV). United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ a b "Estelline, Texas". Texas Escapes Online Magazine. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  6. ^ a b "Focal Point". Kevin Welch, Amarillo Globe-News. 1997-01-13. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  7. ^ a b "Estelline, Texas". The Handbook of Texas online. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  9. ^ "Worst Speed Trap Cities In The USA - November 2007". Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "Texas: Small Town Speed Traps Rake In Millions". Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  12. ^ Climate Summary for Estelline, Texas

External links[edit]