Electra, Texas

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Electra, Texas
Motto: "Wichita County's Best Kept Secret"
Location of Electra, Texas
Location of Electra, Texas
Wichita County Electra.svg
Coordinates: 34°1′51″N 98°55′2″W / 34.03083°N 98.91722°W / 34.03083; -98.91722Coordinates: 34°1′51″N 98°55′2″W / 34.03083°N 98.91722°W / 34.03083; -98.91722
Country United States
State Texas
County Wichita
 • Total 2.4 sq mi (6.3 km2)
 • Land 2.4 sq mi (6.3 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,220 ft (372 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 3,168
 • Density 1,299.0/sq mi (501.5/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 76360
Area code(s) 940
FIPS code 48-22984[1]
GNIS feature ID 1356894[2]

Electra is a city in Wichita County, Texas, United States. It is part of the Wichita Falls, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The United States Census Bureau counted Electra's population as 3,168 at the 2000 census and estimated it to be 2,891 as of 2006.[3] Electra claims the title of Pump Jack Capital of Texas, a title made official by the state in 2001,[4] and has celebrated an annual Pump Jack Festival since 2002.[5]


Daniel Waggoner started a ranch in present-day Electra in 1852. Around thirty years later, the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway was built, and its railroad tracks ran through the area. In 1885, Waggoner's son, W.T. Waggoner, successfully lobbied railroad executives to build a railroad station at the site. By this time, the Waggoner ranch covered a half-million acres. Up until this time, the town was called Waggoner, but following the building of the station and a post office in 1889, it was dubbed Beaver Switch, after the nearby Beaver Creek. The opening of 56,000 acres (230 km2) of land north of the railroad station brought more farmers to the area. The town was renamed again in 1907, this time after Waggoner's daughter Electra.

Water can be scarce in this region of Texas, so Waggoner started drilling for water for the towns new residents. Most of these drilling sites were befouled by crude oil, which made the water unfit for drinking. Three years later, a developer from Fort Worth named Solomon Williams bought the land from Waggoner. Sooner thereafter, he annexed nearby land, subdivided the land, and placed advertisements in national media trying to increase the population. His efforts were successful, and the town grew from a population of 500 to 1,000 between 1907 and 1910. In 1911, the Electra Independent School District was created.

A fateful day in Electra's history was April 1, 1911, when the Clayco gusher successfully drilled for oil. Word spread quickly and the population increased fourfold over a period of months. Fortunately there was already some infrastructure built in the town to handle the new residents.

While in 1936, Electra had well over 6,000 residents, by the 1960s the population had decreased to a bit over 5,000. The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area was growing and many people moved away. By 2000, Electra's population dropped to just over 3,000.

The Waggoner family, still today, owns much of the same land they did in the beginning and still drill for oil in those parts.


Electra is located at 34°1′51″N 98°55′2″W / 34.03083°N 98.91722°W / 34.03083; -98.91722 (34.030809, -98.917281)[6].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.3 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 3,168 people, 1,279 households, and 860 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,299.0 people per square mile (501.3/km²). There were 1,529 housing units at an average density of 626.9 per square mile (241.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.66% White, 4.58% African American, 1.10% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 4.29% from other races, and 2.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.68% of the population.

There were 1,279 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.7% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,022, and the median income for a family was $30,116. Males had a median income of $25,610 versus $17,292 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,213. About 17.8% of families and 20.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.3% of those under age 18 and 15.4% of those age 65 or over.


The City of Electra is served by the Electra Independent School District, which is composed of 210 square miles (540 km2).

There are three public schools. B.M. Dinsmore Elementary School has 225 students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade. Electra Junior High has 172 students in grades five through eight. Electra High School has 149 students enrolled in ninth through twelfth grades. Electra High School's athletic teams are called the Tigers. The student/teacher ratio at each of the schools is 14:1, 13:1, and 9:1, respectively.

Notable people[edit]

  • Ace Reid - Artist and humorist. Grew up and lived in Electra until 1943 when he joined the Navy.[7]


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Electra has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[8]



  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. ^ http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/SAFFPopulation?_event=Search&_name=Electra&_state=04000US48&_county=Electra&_cityTown=Electra&_zip=&_sse=on&_lang=en&pctxt=fph
  4. ^ Bernadette Pruitt."A fading town's liquid legacy: Once-thriving Electra hopes 'Pump Jack' title brings new fortune," The Dallas Morning News, September 23, 2001. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  5. ^ First Pump Jack Festival, photographs of the April 20, 2002, festival. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ *Asa Elmer (Ace) Reid, Jr. (1925-1991) at Handbook of Texas OnLine]
  8. ^ Climate Summary for Electra, Texas

External links[edit]