Texas Attractions February 26, 2018
10 Towns In Texas That Are So Small, Visitors Are Treated Like Celebrities
Given the size of our state, it makes sense that many towns would be sparsely populated. These 10, however, have some of the fewest residents of any place in the entire state. See them for yourself:
Located 72 miles west of Odessa on State Highway 302, Mentone had a population of just 19 in 2010. Up until that year, it was the least-populated unincorporated community in the U.S. and designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1967, but lost that distinction to a South Dakota town with 14 people.
Abbott was founded in 1871 as a stop on the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad. It was named after Joseph Abbott, a member of the Texas legislature at the time. In 1914, the population peaked at 713 people and has declined ever since - it was a mere 356 in 2010. This is also the birthplace of the famous singer, Willie Nelson! Who would've thought?
The name 'Balmorhea' is a combination of "Balcom," "Morrow," and "Rhea," the last names of the town's founders. It was incorporated in 1906 and had a population of 479 in 2010. Here, you'll find the largest spring-fed swimming pool in the entire world! Such a fascinating phenomenon in such an unassuming place. Read all about it
Celeste was also a product of railroad development like many towns in Hunt County. Named after the wife of a Santa Fe official, the town was incorporated in 1900 and continued to grow in population until the 1920s, when it began to decline from 803 to eventually reach 518 in the 60s. As of 2010, 814 people lived in Celeste, the birthplace of war hero Audie Murphy.
Daisetta, a small city in Liberty County, was named after Daisy Barrett and Etta White, two of the very first residents. It's most well known for the recurring sinkholes that have formed in the area since 1969. The cause is a collapse in the salt dome that Daisetta sits on, and residents nicknamed the most recent hole "Sinkhole de Mayo."
Located in northeastern Texas, Ector was a shipping point on the Texas and Pacific Railway starting in 1892. The town continued to thrive until the 80s, when residents began commuting to the nearby cities of Sherman and Dennison for work.
Fayetteville is one of the more well-known towns on this list, but not because of its population - in fact, there were only 258 people living here in 2010. Maybe its notoriety came from the days of World War I, when the mayor and several citizens were charged with espionage for accidentally displaying the German flag over the entryway to a club. Or, perhaps, it's popular because of Joe's Place, a restaurant with chicken-fried steak so amazing, people come from all over to try it.
Gail is the county seat of Borden County, named after Gail Borden Jr., the inventor of condensed milk. In 2010, the population was a mere 231, but there's still a jail, school district, and plenty of other businesses in town.
Hartley is a census-designated place way up in the Panhandle. The population was 540 in 2010 - a major feat considering the town isn't even incorporated. The land was granted in 1832 under colonization laws of Mexico and Texas, but rights were forfeited after the settlers failed to colonize the territory.
Imperial is located in Pecos County, deep in the desert of West Texas. It was settled in the early 1900s, originally given the name "Redlands" before being renamed after California's Imperial Valley in 1910. The population approached 1,000 by the late 1960s, but continued to decline thereafter because the area's water had a high salt content, which made farming unproductive.
Want to see more small towns in Texas? Check out our previous article,
11 Small Towns In Texas Where Everyone Knows Your Name.
Have you been to any of these towns, or perhaps even grown up in one of them? Let us know your memories and experiences!