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Dumas

The potential ghost town now serves as a monument to settlers' determination.

Louis Dumas, for whom the town is named, formed the Moore County Townsite Company in January of 1891. The town soon became home to a company office, a general store, the first post office, and a hotel. When Moore County was established the following year, Dumas became the county seat.

While the town still tottered on uncertain legs, disaster struck during the year of 1893. A devastating grasshopper plague during the summer and a harsh winter threatened to send the entire population packing. Even the founder shook the town's dust from his feet and hightailed it to Grayson county. At times during the years to follow, only a single family was reported to call the town home. In 1900, Arthur Nield's mercantile was the only remaining business.

The settlers' perseverance paid off when oil and natural gas were discovered in the area in 1926. In 1931, a railroad contributed even more to a boom of enterprise. And when the good times began, none of the nation's crises could slow the town's pace. The county endured the Dustbowl and thrived during the need for petroleum in World War II. Phil Baxter's song "I'm a Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas," recorded by Phil Harris in the 1940s, made the town famous.

Today, the area is ranked among the leading gain sorghum producers and supplies large amounts of natural gas and helium to the world. The town hosts an annual Dogie Days carnival and preserves Texas Panhandle history in the Windows on the Plains Museum.

With a population of almost 15,000, the home of the Dumas Demons is thriving.

Source: Texas State Historical Association

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