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Texas Tropical Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Taft


"THE BEST COTTON-PICKIN' LAND AROUND"

If Imogene Wharburton, Taft's first postmistress, were alive today she probably could fill you in on all the town gossip. In 1904, the year the first post office was established, local Taft chit-chat might have included the latest happenings along the nearby Southern Pacific Railroad tracks, the scoop around the lone windmill up on the hill called Mesquital Mill, and the goings-on at the Coleman-Fulton Pasture Company's cattle shipping pens (the town's primary employer). Small pickin's for today's curious ear horns but plenty to talk about in the early 1900s. A few years after the post office was built Taft would get a slaughter house, an ice plant, cotton gins, and a creamery, all providing flapjaw-worthy news no doubt. Taft was a company town until 1921 when directors decided to auction off everything, touting the region to potential farmers and buyers as "the best cotton-pickin' land around", a pitch that appeared to work as the auction attracted over five thousand interested comers, many who bought Taft lock, stock, and barrel. Today, the Taft Blackland Museum retells the whole story, complete with a depth of detail that Imogene Wharburton might have appreciated.


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