Clarendon, Texas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Clarendon, Texas
Clarendon welcome sign on U.S. Highway 287
Clarendon welcome sign on U.S. Highway 287
Location of Clarendon, Texas
Location of Clarendon, Texas
Donley County Clarendon.svg
Coordinates: 34°56′11″N 100°53′28″W / 34.93639°N 100.89111°W / 34.93639; -100.89111Coordinates: 34°56′11″N 100°53′28″W / 34.93639°N 100.89111°W / 34.93639; -100.89111
CountryUnited States
 • Total3.01 sq mi (7.79 km2)
 • Land2.90 sq mi (7.52 km2)
 • Water0.10 sq mi (0.27 km2)
2,733 ft (833 m)
 • Total2,026
 • Estimate 
 • Density613.71/sq mi (236.92/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)806
FIPS code48-15112[3]
GNIS feature ID1354555[4]
Having been closed in 1984, the Sandell Drive-in theater reopened in August 2002.
Map of the city in 1890
The grain elevator in Clarendon
The streets of Clarendon

Clarendon is a city in Donley County, Texas, United States. Its population was 2,026 at the 2010 census.[5] The county seat of Donley County,[6] Clarendon is located on U.S. Highway 287 in the Texas Panhandle, 60 miles (97 km) east of Amarillo.


Clarendon, established in 1878, was one of the three original Panhandle settlements, the other two being Mobeetie and Tascosa. Clarendon was relocated after its original location was bypassed by the Fort Worth and Denver Railway.[7]

The town founder was a Methodist clergyman, L.H. Carhart, who envisioned a "sobriety settlement" in contrast to typical boomtowns of that era. Clarendon acquired the sobriquet "Saints Roost" from local cowboys, hence the unusual name of the Clarendon museum, the Saints' Roost Museum.[8]

The town was hit by two tornadoes simultaneously on March 13, 2021. The first tornado caused minor damage west of town before strengthening and causing EF2 damage on the north side of town. The other tornado damaged several homes and sheds in the town at EF0 strength.[9][10]


Clarendon is located southwest of the center of Donley County at 34°56′11″N 100°53′28″W / 34.93639°N 100.89111°W / 34.93639; -100.89111 (34.936415, −100.891182).[11] U.S. Highway 287 passes through the city, leading west 60 miles (97 km) to Amarillo and southeast 57 miles (92 km) to Childress. Texas State Highway 70 leads north 17 miles (27 km) to Interstate 40 and south 42 miles (68 km) to Turkey.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2), of which 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2), or 3.49%, is covered by water.[5]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)1,781[2]−12.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

2020 census[edit]

Clarendon racial composition[13]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 1,381 73.57%
Black or African American (NH) 160 8.52%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 14 0.75%
Asian (NH) 8 0.43%
Pacific Islander (NH) 1 0.05%
Some Other Race (NH) 4 0.21%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 86 4.58%
Hispanic or Latino 223 11.88%
Total 1,877

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 1,877 people, 705 households, and 404 families residing in the city.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2000, 1,974 people, 768 households, and 489 families resided in the city. The population density was 679.0 people per sq mi (261.9/km2). The 929 housing units averaged of 319.5 per sq mi (123.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.49% White, 7.19% African American, 0.76% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 2.99% from other races, and 1.42% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 6.23% of the population.

Of the 768 households, 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.4% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.3% were not families. About 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 20.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city, the age distribution was 23.5% under 18, 13.9% from 18 to 24, 21.7% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 19.9% who were 65 or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,824, and for a family was $37,083. Males had a median income of $25,486 versus $18,882 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,436. About 11.2% of families and 15.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 19.9% of those age 65 or over.


Clarendon is served by the Clarendon Consolidated Independent School District. The school colors are maroon, white, and black.[16] The school mascot is the Bronco.

Clarendon is home to Clarendon College (established 1898), the oldest center of higher education in the Texas Panhandle. It was originally affiliated with the Methodist Church. The college is located off Highway 287 in north Clarendon. The mascot is the bulldog. The colors are green and white.[17]

The Saints' Roost Museum houses artifacts of the early years of Clarendon, and features exhibits on Goodnight, Bugbee, the Red River War, and the Fort Worth and Denver Railway depot.

The local newspaper is the Clarendon Enterprise.

Notable people[edit]

Clarendon has been the home of numerous notable persons.

  • Aviation historian Randy Acord (1919–2008), a Clarendon native, founded the Alaska Air Pioneer Museum in Fairbanks, where he had been stationed as a test pilot in 1943. Acord won the Alaska-Siberia Lend Lease Award for his contributions to Russian-North American relations during World War II.
  • JA Ranch matriarch Cornelia Wadsworth Ritchie Adair maintained a house in Clarendon and was a benefactor of many Donley County charities. The Saints' Roost Museum in Clarendon is the restoration of her former Adair Hospital. She was active, too, in the Episcopal Church in Clarendon. She also maintained residences in England, having become a naturalized British subject, and in Ireland, where she lived part of the year at her late husband's Glenveagh Castle. She is buried in Ireland.
  • Ed Boykin, New Mexico state legislator and educator, was born in Clarendon.
  • Harold Dow Bugbee, artist of ranching on the |Texas South Plains and the Panhandle, maintained his family near Clarendon. He was also the art curator of the Panhandle-Plains Museum for many years prior to his death in 1963. Bugbee's second wife, Olive Vandruff Bugbee, an artist in her own right, lived at the Harold Dow Bugbee Ranch from the time of her brief marriage to Bugbee in 1961 until her death in 2003. The couple left the ranch estate to the Panhandle Plains Museum.
  • Historian Harley True Burton, a former president of Clarendon College, served as the town mayor from 1955–1963. Burton wrote The History of the JA Ranch, co-owned by John George Adair of Ireland and Charles Goodnight, who spent his later years in Clarendon.
  • Renowned buffalo hunter Frank Collinson (1855–1943) lived primarily in Childress, but is buried in Clarendon.
  • Clarendon is the hometown of former Oklahoma Sooners football standout running back Kenny King. He also played for the Oakland Raiders. King set a Super Bowl record for the longest touchdown reception with an 80-yarder in the Raiders' 27–10 Super Bowl XV victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. That record stood until January 26, 1997.
  • Clarence Hailey Long, the inspiration for the original Marlboro Man tobacco advertising campaign, lived his later years in Clarendon. A former employee of the JA Ranch, he joined the First Baptist Church in Clarendon in 1953, after the death of his father in a bronco accident.[18]
  • William S. Lott (1918–2009) was a district judge in Williamson County for 16 years. He was born in Clarendon, and lived there until graduating from high school. He worked at first as a lawyer, then a judge, in a legal career that spanned 70 years. The William S. Lott Juvenile Center in Georgetown, Texas, is named after him.
  • Odell McBrayer (1930–2008), a Fort Worth attorney, grew up in Clarendon. He was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor in 1974, having lost his primary to Jim Granberry, former mayor of Lubbock. McBrayer was affiliated with the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International.[19]
  • Blues musician William Daniel McFall, better known as Blues Boy Willie, lived in Clarendon during the middle 1960s, when he studied guitar and double bass at Clarendon College.
  • Montgomery Harrison Wadsworth Ritchie (1910–1999), grandson of Cornelia Adair, managed the JA from 1935 until his retirement in 1993, so maintained a Clarendon address.
  • Samuel Hollingsworth Stout (1822–1903), Confederate surgeon, died in Clarendon.[20]
  • Republican U.S. Representative William Mac Thornberry, who represents the Texas Panhandle in a district that stretches from Amarillo east to Wichita Falls, was born in Clarendon in 1958.
  • Famous Modernist architect, Craig Ellwood, was born in Clarendon in 1922. He was born as Jon Nelson Burke, but changed his name to Craig Ellwood while living in Los Angeles. He died in Pergine Valdarno, Italy.


Climate data for Clarendon, Texas (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 52.8
Average low °F (°C) 23.8
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.70
Average snowfall inches (cm) 1.8
Source: NOAA[21]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Clarendon city, Texas". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  7. ^ Lester Fields Sheffy, The Life and Times of Timothy Dwight Hobart, 1855-1935: Colonization of West Texas (Canyon, Texas: Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, 1950), p. 156
  8. ^ "". Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  9. ^ "ArcGIS Web Application". Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  10. ^ NWS Damage Survey for 3/13/21 Tornado Event Update #3 (Report). Iowa Environmental Mesonet. National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Amarillo, Texas. March 18, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  16. ^ Website.
  17. ^ "Clarendon College". Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  18. ^ C. H. Long, Jr., exhibit, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum at Canyon
  19. ^ "Tulsa World: Deaths". Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  20. ^ "Collection Title: Samuel Hollingsworth Stout Papers, 1843-1911". The Southern Historical Collection at the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. UNC University Libraries. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  21. ^ "NOWData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  1. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[14][15]

External links[edit]