Welcome to Morton
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Elevation||3,760 ft (1,146 m)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|ZIP code||79346 |
|FIPS code||48-49464 |
|GNIS feature ID||1363181 |
|Website||Handbook of Texas: Morton|
Famous cattle baron Christopher C. Slaughter died in 1919 and in 1921 his heirs dissolved his cattle company. Slaughter's eldest daughter, Minnie Slaughter Veal, hired an agent to sell her share of the property and this agent - named Morton Smith - founded the town of Morton.
In 1923 the actual townsite was platted and Smith's land office was on the eastside of the square.
In 1924, Morton (the town) became the county seat over a town called Ligon. The Slaughters had founded Ligon and were hoping that it would become county seat. Cochran County's western boundary is along the Texas - New Mexico border.
Ranches continued to be sold as farmland throughout the 1920s. According to the Handbook of Texas - a family named Winder was so large that it doubled the population of Morton. Mrs. Mary Winder served as Morton's first postmistress (1924–1943). Since Morton and Cochran County were one of the last in the state to be broken out into farmland and settled, the motto for Morton became, "The Last Frontier".
Morton was spared the fate of many Texas towns that shriveled and died after being by-passed by the railroad during the 1930s and 1940s. Morton being the county seat, plus having all that former rangeland newly broken out into farmland attracted many new farming families to move in during that time, and helped Morton not only survive, but grow and thrive.
In 1933 Morton was incorporated with Henry Cox as the town's first mayor.
Morton is located at  at an altitude of approximately 3,800 feet (1,200 m) above mean sea level. The topography of the area is generally flat, with higher elevation to the western part of the county, gently sloping downward to the east. Morton is located in what is known as the "Staked Plains" or Llano Estacado, which is in the southern portion of the Great Plains. Morton lies on the western extreme of the Central Standard Time Zone, just a tad over 16 miles (26 km) east of the Mountain Standard Time Zone..
The center of the City of Morton (location of the County Courthouse) lies adjacent to the Northwest corner of the intersection of State Highways 114 and 214.
Morton has a mild, semi-arid climate. On average, Morton receives 18 inches (460 mm) of precipitation per year. Summers in Morton are hot, with high temperatures in the 90s °F and dropping into the 60s °F at nights. The highest recorded temperature was 110 °F (43 °C) in June 1994. Winter days in Morton are typically sunny and relatively mild in the mid 50s °F, but nights are cold with temperatures dipping to the mid 20s °F. The lowest recorded temperature was −12 °F (−24 °C) in January 1963.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), all of it land, except for Strickland Lake, a small, man-made pond located in the southwestern part of the city.
Approximately 20 miles (32 km) to the north of Morton, along Texas State Highway 214 is the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge, home to a large Sandhill Crane migration each autumn, and year round home to a sizable Prairie Dog town.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,006 people, 717 households, and 522 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,432.9 people per square mile. There were 845 housing units at an average density of 603.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 61.1% Hispanic or Latino. 33.5% White alone, 4.4% Black and less than 1% other races. County-wide demographics are shown at [2010 Census Data Link].
In 2010, there were 717 households out of which 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them. 51.7% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.2% were non-families. 11.3% were a man or woman living alone over the age of 65. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.33.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 15, 8% from 15 to 19, 6.2% from ages 20–24, 22.9% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.
High school sports
Morton went to the State Tournament 6 straight years under the direction of coach Tony Mauldin, from 1982 to 1987, Morton losing in the semi-finals in 1982 & 1984; the finals in 1985; and winning titles in 1983, 1986 & 1987. Tony Mauldin was the Morton championship coach in 1983, 1986 & 1987 while Ted Whillock was the coach in 1972; Dan Smith in 1977; and Ignatius Caraway in 2005. Morton made it to the Regional Championship tournaments several additional times over those years but were eliminated before reaching the state tournament games. The boys varsity basketball team last won the Class 1-A State Championship/Texas Cup for Class 1-A schools in Texas in 2005. The Morton girls also made it to the State Championship game 2 times during the history of the school. Following are the State title games, scores and opponents in which Morton participated, the men's teams going 6 - 3 in State Championship Games and the women's going 1 - 1 in their two appearances:
|Boys Year||Class||Winner Score||Runner Up Score|
|1972||2A||Morton 62||Whitehouse 59|
|1976||2A||Mart 57||Morton 52|
|1977||2A||Morton 63||Kountze 60|
|1983||2A||Morton 91||Bartlett 69|
|1985||2A||Grapeland 63||Morton 56|
|1986||2A||Morton 73||Dripping Springs 59|
|1987||2A||Morton 84||Liberty Hill 72|
|2004||1A||Normangee 53||Morton 51 OT|
|2005||1A||Morton 66||Snook 38|
|Tx Cup||Class||Winner Score||Runner Up Score|
|2005||1A||Morton 69||Lipan 53|
|Girls Year||Class||Winner Score||Runner Up Score|
|1952||1A||Hamilton 27||Morton 19|
|1987||2A||Morton 68||Paris 53|
- = In 1987, both the boys and girls won state championships in basketball !!!
The first year the Morton Indians made it to the State Tournament was 1970 under the direction of coach Ted Whillock. The Indians were eliminated in the semi-finals by Taft by a score of 71-63. Taft lost in the championship game to Kountze 75-73. Sophomore Elton Patton was voted onto the all state tournament team that year.
In 1972 the Morton Indians captured their first of an eventual 6 State Championships, defeating Whitehouse, 62-59, in the final & Roma, 65-55, in the semi-final at the state tournament. Morton finished the year at 32-4 and defeated Ralls, 94-70; Merkel, 73-55; and El Paso Parkland, 73-68; in the regional to make the state tournament for the second time under coach Whillock. The Indians finished the year at 32-4 and Whitehouse at 36-2. Roma’s 31 turnovers in the semi-final led to Morton’s 10-point victory and the Indian’s 3-point margin in the final came from better shooting from the field (49% to 40%) and in FTs (12 of 22 to 7 of 17) and by a 44-40 rebounding edge.
Morton made it back to the State Tournament in 1973, falling in the semifinals to Grand Saline 62-61. The 1973 2-A All State Tournament Team included 6’2” Jr Jerry Silhan of Morton.
Morton made it to the State Championship game in 1976, losing to Mart 57-52. Mart trailed Morton by 9 points in the 4th quarter of the final but a 16-2 run secured the win for the Panthers. Mike Williams led Morton with 24 points and 14 rebounds. The 1976 2-A All State Tournament Team included Mike Williams, 6’0” Sr and Lloyd Joyce, 6’0” Jr of Morton.
For many years, Morton was served by The Morton Tribune[Link to Morton Tribune's Facebook page], a weekly newspaper that published on Thursdays, but went out of business sometime after 2010. Many of the townspeople are also regular readers of the Lubbock Avalanche Journal, which is published daily in the nearest larger city of Lubbock (located 60 miles to the East) and delivered to Morton daily. One Facebook page for Morton is at Morton Facebook Page.
The Morton Memorial Cemetery is approximately 2 miles north of the city center on highway 214, and is a well manicured and maintained final resting place for former members of the community. There are also interred remains of some Native Americans buried, with a large marker, on the western end of the cemetery.
- Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) details for Morton, Texas; United States Geological Survey (USGS); November 30, 1979.
- United States Postal Service (2012). "USPS - Look Up a ZIP Code". Retrieved 2012-02-15.
- Leoti A. Bennett. "Morton, TX (Cochran County)". Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
- U.S. Decennial Census; census.gov
- County website
- Handbook of Texas Online: Morton, Texas
- Map of Cochran County
- Photos of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico