Littlefield, Texas

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Littlefield, Texas
Community
City Hall in Littlefield (built 1930)
City Hall in Littlefield (built 1930)
Motto: Where BIG things happen!
Map of Texas
Map of Texas
Littlefield
Coordinates: 33°55′02″N 102°19′30″W / 33.91722°N 102.32500°W / 33.91722; -102.32500Coordinates: 33°55′02″N 102°19′30″W / 33.91722°N 102.32500°W / 33.91722; -102.32500[1]
Country  United States
State  Texas
County Lamb
Region Llano Estacado
Established 1912
Elevation[1] 3,560 ft (1,090 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 6,372
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
ZIP code 79339
Area code 806
Website Official website
Municipal building annex in Littlefield
Partial view of downtown Littlefield
Littlefield water tower advertises home-town celebrity Waylon Jennings.
Littlefield Lands/Duggan House Museum is located on Waylon Jennings Boulevard.
G's Drive-In in Littlefield
First Baptist Church in downtown Littlefield

Littlefield is a city in and the county seat of Lamb County, Texas, United States.[3] The population was 6,372 at the 2010 census.[4] It is located in a significant cotton-growing region, northwest of Lubbock on the Llano Estacado just south of the Texas Panhandle. Littlefield has a large denim manufacturing plant operated by American Cotton Growers.[5]

Littlefield houses the Bill W. Clayton Detention Center, a 310-bed medium-security facility, which is named for the former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, who resided in Springlake.

Near Littlefield is the Triple Arrow Ranch, known for its historical remnants, owned by Lamb County Commissioner's Court Judge and Mrs. William A. Thompson, Jr.

History[edit]

Littlefield is named for George Washington Littlefield (1842–1920), a Mississippi native, Confederate officer, cattleman, banker, and benefactor of the University of Texas at Austin.[6] In July 1901, Littlefield purchased the southern, or Yellow Houses, division of the XIT Ranch, forming the Yellow House Ranch.[7] At that time the ranch covered 312,175 acres (126,333 ha) in Lamb, Hockley, Bailey, and Cochran counties.[8] In 1912, when surveys showed that a new rail line from Coleman, Texas to Texico, New Mexico would pass through his property, Littlefield formed the Littlefield Lands Company to sell the northeastern corner of the Yellow House Ranch, a total of 79,040 acres (31,990 ha), to settlers and to establish the town of Littlefield in Lamb County.[9] Littlefield became a stop on the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway in 1913.[9]

Geography and climate[edit]

Littlefield is located at 33°55′02″N 102°19′30″W / 33.91722°N 102.32500°W / 33.91722; -102.32500 (33.9173148, -102.3249022).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.3 square miles (16.4 km2). None of the area is covered with water.[10]

Much like nearby Lubbock, Littlefield has a mild, semi-arid climate. On average, Littlefield receives 18 inches (460 mm) of precipitation per year.[11] Summers in Littlefield are hot, with high temperatures in the 90s °F (32 - 37 °C) and dropping into the 60s °F (15 - 20 °C) at nights. The highest recorded temperature was 112 °F (44 °C) in 1994.[11] Winter days in Littlefield are typically sunny and relatively mild in the mid 50s °F (13 °C), but nights are cold with temperatures dipping to the mid 20s °F (-4 °C). The lowest recorded temperature was -6 °F (-21 °C) in 1979.[11]

Economy[edit]

The economy of Littlefield is diverse but traditionally depends on cotton. American Cotton Growers (ACG) Denim Textile Plant of Littlefield is the largest employer in Littlefield and Lamb County.[12] Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA) of Lubbock, a farmer-owned cotton marketing cooperative purchased the denim plant from ACG in 1987. American Cotton Growers announced the closure of their Littlefield denim mill [13] on Friday Nov 07, 2014. The plant will close on Jan. 6, 2015. The The city is headquarters to Lowe's Market,[14] a grocery store chain in the American Southwest. In August 2008, Littlefield was selected as the new location for a biodiesel plant.

Tourism[edit]

Littlefield is the hometown of singer/songwriter Waylon Jennings. Waylon Jennings Boulevard is named in his honor.[15] A celebration of Jennings' 73rd birthday was held on June 18, 2010, to raise funds for the Lands Duggan House Museum in Littlefield.[16]

Bull Lake is located about 5 miles (8.0 km) west of town. There is a municipal campground located on Highway 385.

The world's tallest windmill was said to be below Yellow Houses Bluff at nearby Yellow House Ranch from the early 1900s until 1926, when the 128-foot (39 m)-high structure was blown over.[8]

Unsolved murder case[edit]

On October 26, 1943, Littlefield was shocked by the murder of physician Roy Hunt and his wife, the former Mae Frank. Hunt, a Lubbock native, graduated from the University of Texas Medical School at Galveston and opened the Littlefield Clinic in 1937. While Dr. Hunt died of a gunshot wound, Mrs. Hunt was bludgeoned to death by a gun. Their bodies, bound together, were found in bed by the couple's five-year-old daughter, who ran screaming to neighbors for help. An estimated 1,500 mourners attended the funerals in the First Methodist Church of Littlefield, which seated only 300. Some 1,200 people stood outside the overflowing church to pay respects. A $15,000 reward was offered, and Governor Coke R. Stevenson took a personal interest in the case.[17]

An investigation revealed that Dr. Hunt had also been shot twice in May 1942 by Dr. W.R. Newton, a former medical school classmate who claimed that Hunt was showing an interest in Newton's wife, Ruth. Another suspect, Jim Clyde Thomas, was gunned down in a personal disagreement on August 22, 1951, in Durant, Oklahoma. The murders, called the "most heinous on the Texas South Plains", remain unsolved. The Hunts are interred at the City of Lubbock Cemetery. Their two young daughters were reared by Mrs. Hunt's sister.[17]

Clovis Road - The Dr. Roy Hunt Murder - Littlefield, Texas 1942 - 1943 was written in 2009 by a Littlefield native, Dana Middlebrooks Samuelson and Robert Samuelson, M.D. Jerry Scott Hughes wrote the foreword, and the book was based on their research and the files of Judge Harold LaFont. That book was dedicated to Judge Harold LaFont and his son, Bill LaFont. Additional information in the Hunt murder story that has come to light since it was originally published in 2009 and resulted in a revised and expanded second edition published in March 2013. The second edition is dedicated to former Texas Supreme Court Justice Ted Z. Robertson.

Christena Stephens of the Llano Estacado Heritage Foundation is also writing a book on the Hunt case. At a time when forensic science was hardly known in Texas, Stephens has uncovered clues to solving the case, including tire tracks and black tennis shoes.[18]

Demographics[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census,[19] there were 6,507 people, 2,390 households, and 1,699 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,085.4 people per square mile (419.4/km²). There were 2,784 housing units at an average density of 464.4 per square mile (179.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.10% White, 5.38% African American, 0.69% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 14.62% from other races, and 2.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 45.83% of the population.

There were 2,390 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.9% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.22.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,271, and the median income for a family was $29,842. Males had a median income of $25,978 versus $20,160 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,018. About 18.8% of families and 20.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.5% of those under age 18 and 15.6% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation[edit]

By air[edit]

Lubbock International Airport is served by:

By car[edit]

Littlefield sits at the Crossroad of US Hwy 84 which runs from Midway, Georgia to Pagosa Springs, Colorado and US Highway 385 which runs from Deadwood, South Dakota to Big Bend National Park in Texas. Both highways are corridors for tourists and main shipping routes used by trucks.

Education[edit]

The City of Littlefield is served by the Littlefield Independent School District and by a branch of South Plains College.

Notable events[edit]

The most westerly piece of debris (a Thermal Protection System tile) from the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was found in a field here.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

Climate[edit]

According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Littlefield has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Littlefield". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Littlefield city, Texas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Our Denim Plains Cotton Cooperative Association". Retrieved November 21, 2012. 
  6. ^ Gracy II, David B. "Littlefield, George Washington". Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  7. ^ Duke, Cordia S.; Joe B. Frantz (1961). 6000 Miles of Fence, Life on the XIT Ranch of Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press. pp. 6–7. ISBN 0-292-77564-4. 
  8. ^ a b Gracy II, David B. "Yellow House Ranch". Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Hunt, William R. "Littlefield, TX". Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Littlefield city, Texas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c "Monthly Averages for Littlefield, TX". The Weather Channel. 
  12. ^ "American Cotton Growers (ACG) page". American Cotton Grower's. 
  13. ^ "Littlefield denim mill to close Jan. 6 article". WSMV News. 
  14. ^ "Lowe's Market about page". Lowe's Market. 
  15. ^ Jennings, Waylon; Lenny Kaye (September 1996). Waylon Jennings: An Autobiography. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-0-446-51865-9. 
  16. ^ "Barn dance to support Littlefield house museum and celebrate Waylon's birthday". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, June 11, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Christena Stephens of Sundown, Texas, "The Hunt Murders in Littlefield, Texas, 1943", Annual meeting, West Texas Historical Association, Lubbock, Texas, April 3, 2009; The paper was published under the title "Double Murder in a Small West Texas Town" in the West Texas Historical Association Year Book.
  18. ^ Christena Stephens, "Catching a Criminal in Early West Texas," West Texas Historical Association, annual meeting, April 1, 2011, Lubbock, Texas
  19. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  20. ^ Climate Summary for Littlefield, Texas

External links[edit]