This is the fourth article of the ghost town series. Previous articles can be found below:
- Ghost towns of the Concho Valley: Tom Green County
- Ghost towns of the Concho Valley: Coke and Sterling County
- Ghost towns of the Concho Valley: Concho and Schleicher County
- Ghost towns of the Concho Valley: Mason County
Everything is bigger and better in Texas, including the number of ghost towns. According to Texas Highways, the Lone Star State is home to 511 ghost towns, which is the most a state has.
Of these ghost towns, Kimble County is home to six.
The town of Cleo is located 10 miles northwest of Junction in northern Kimble County on Farm Road 2291. According to the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), the establishment began on March 11, 1880, with Thomas Riggs opening the first post office initially called Viejo for Viejo Creek. This creek is now known as West Bear Creek. By 1886 the post office was closed and transferred to Junction City, now known as Junction. On March 25, 1915, the Viejo post office was reestablished in John Simpson’s general store. However, Simpson sold the store in August of 1920 and transferred the postmaster’s duties to Sam L. Pearson. Pearson then changed the name of the post office to Cleo, in honor of Cleo Weston, his niece.
Cleo served as a supply point for campers, fishermen, and hunters during the 1920s and 1930s but faced troubles when the Great Depression came. The unemployed came to the area to find work cutting cedar according to the TSHA. In 1937 the Bear Creek School located in Cleo closed but the building was still used for social gatherings.
There was a reported population between 15 and 36 until 1966. During 1966 the population was an estimated 52 people. The community grew to 81 people in 1974 when Cleo’s last postmaster Josie Baylor Bishop retired, causing it to close.
Tourists and trade began to decline for the community when U.S. Highway 83 was constructed between Menard and Junction, bypassing Cleo.
In 1990 and 2000 the population of Cleo was a reported three people.
Noxville was established in 1869 along the James River, just 21 miles east of Junction in southeastern Kimble County. TSHA reports that Creed Taylor was the first Anglo to settle near the Jame River and built a two-story stone house in 1869.
In the 1870s Noah Nox, Munroe McDonald, and James H. Parker settled just four and a half miles east of Taylor along the Little Devils River. Nox opened and ran a store in December of 1879 along with the Noxville post office.
The TSHA reports that the first school in Kimble County was established in Noxville in the 1880s. In December of 1911, a man named Jason A. Milan moved the post office and general store to the town west of the James River when he became postmaster.
The school continued to operate until 1940 when it became part of the Harper School District in Gillespie County. By 1942 the post office was closed leaving a store and gas station there until the 1950s. The old school continued to be used as a voting place into 1968 as the fourth precinct of Kimble County. In 1990 the population of Noxville was three and remained that way in 2000.
Located in western Kimble County, just 16 miles west of Junction on Ranch Road 291 is Roosevelt, Texas. W.B. Wagoner established the post office in 1898 after Theodore Roosevelt, who had reportedly visited the area with the First United States Volunteer Calvary, known as the Rough Riders. According to the TSHA, Roosevelt served as a shipping point for supplies and feed to local ranchers with sheep and goats.
Angora goats were brought to the town in 1925 from South Africa to the Patterson and Riek Ranch, which was established in 1897. The town also hosted polo matches since local ranchers also bred polo ponies for national markets and horses for the United States Calvary.
Tourism helped grow the area which included several businesses and the Lutheringer Hotel. Roosevelt grew from an estimated 25 people in 1925 to an average of 100 from 1941 through the mid-1980s.
In 1990 the community was known for the Marc-Key Company nursery which shipped 35,000 poinsettias that year. By 200 the population of Roosevelt had dropped to 2000.
Segovia is located on Interstate Highway 10, just 11 miles southeast of Junction in eastern Kimble County. Segovia earned its name from a town in Spain and received a post office in June of 1900 according to the TSHA. John C. W. Ingram was the first postmaster.
In 1925 the community had a population of 10 but grew to 25 by the end of the decade due to the advertising that was done for vacation sites, tourist spots, camping, fishing, general store, and gas station. By 1930 the population declined to ten. Following the decline, the population grew to 101 in 1974.
In 1964 the post office was closed but two businesses remained open until 1976: The truck stop and general store.
By 1990 the population of Segovia was an estimated 25 people.
In southwestern Kimble County, 13 miles southwest of Junction is the town of Telegraph.
In 1900 the post office was established with Ruth Holmes serving as the postmistress. However, in 1902 local rancher Romas C. Taylor became the postmaster.
The community grew popular as a vacation area in the 1920s by fishermen, hunters, and campers. In 1925 the community had 25 people in it along with a post-office-general store, tourist park, and gas station. The population of Telegraph remains steady for forty years with a brief increase to 56 people in 1966. However, the town declined to 31 members in 1970, then to 11 in 1974. The population remained at three in 1990 and 2000.
According to the TSHA, the town Telegraph was named after the telegraph poles cut in the area to support communications lines to the early United States Army first. These were located in the Telegraph Canyon just east of Telegraph.
Just 12 miles northeast of Junction in eastern Kimble County is Yates or Yates Crossing. The post office of Yates earned its name after the man who opened it in June of 1907, Joseph A. Yates. Yates opened the post office on his land.
From the 1860s the early 1880s herds of cattle cross the Llano River averaging from 1,800 to 2,000 head. These herds would cross just 200 yards downstream of Beef Trail Crossing which was a feeder trail to the Western Trail according to the TSHA. Because of
In 1909 Tully J. Lange became the postmaster till it closed in March 1930. During this time Yates served as a farming community along the Llana River with a general store, gas station, and post office with a population of 51. The community was also advertised as a vacation spot like the others in Kimble County.
The last reported population was 10 in 1958.