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Historical Diary of Lubbock County

by Clifford E. Hunt

The dates listed in this diary have not been confirmed by the staff of the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library


First Post Master was:

G.W. Singer

First building in Lubbock was moved here from South Town and located on the corner of Main Street and Ave. H. It was known as the G. W. Singer Store. It was moved here in the Fall of 1890.

The First Restaurant in Lubbock was built in October or November, 1890 and was located on Ave. G between 14th and 15th Streets. It was owned and operated by Geo. M. Hunt.

The first Post Office was located in the G.W Singer Store building located at the corner of Main Street and Ave. H. North side of Main and east side of Ave. H.

The first lawyers:

W. F. Hendrix

W. C. Henderson

These two lawyers were here at the time the county was organized.

The first doctors:

Dr. J. S. Lenox

Dr. C. G. Austin

These two doctors came here about the time the county was organized.

The first doctor to practice medicine in Lubbock county was Dr. William Hunt. He lived at Estacado in Crosby County, and looked after the sick people in Lubbock County several years before the county was organized.

The first hotel built in Lubbock County was a three story frame building, built by F. E. Wheelock at North Town in the Spring of 1890. It was complete in August , 1890. North Town was located about three miles North East of the present city of Lubbock. This hotel was torn down later that Fall and rebuilt in Lubbock and was located on the corner of Broadway and Ave. H. It was known as the, NICOLETT HOTEL. It was operated by Geo. M. Hunt. This building remained at this location for fifty years and was only recently moved to the North East part of the city where it is now being used as a Community Center.


The first Drug Store:

Lee K. Auton opened the first drug store here in January or February, 1891. It was located on the corner Broadway and Ave. H. just across the street east from the Nicolett Hotel.

The first barber shop was opened here in the Spring of 1891 by Ed. T. Cox. (909 Broadway?)

The first black smith shop:

W. P. Phoenix was the first black smith in Lubbock County. He opened a shop here in March 1891. (909 Broadway?)

The first Livery Stable:

Geo. C. Wolffarth and Van Sanders opened the first livery stable here in Jan. or Feb. 1891. It was located on Avenue H and 10th Street.

The first Real Estate Office:

J.B. Jones and Geo. M. Hunt opened the first real estate office here in February 1891. These two men were surveyors so in addition to their real estate business they did abstract work and surveying.

Lubbock County was organized Tuesday, March 10, 1891.

The first officers of the county were:

G. W. Shannon---------Judge

Geo. C. Wolffarth-------Clerk

W. M. Lay------------- Sheriff

U. G. Moore------------Treasurer

W. S. Clark-------------Tax Assessor

J. B. Jones---------------Surveyor

W. F. Hendrix-----------County Atty.

The first County Commissioners were:

J. D. Caldwell--------Prec. No. 1

F. E. Wheelock------- " " 2

L. D. Hunt------------ " " 3

Van Sanders---------- " " 4

The following persons conducted the first election of officers and the organization of Lubbock County, March 10, 1891, which had been attached to Crosby County for judicial purposes:

Geo. M. Hunt, J. B. Mobley, W. F. Cobb and J. D. Caldwell.-- Precinct No. 1

R. C. Burns, Mat Burts, J. J. Reynolds, G. M. Boles and E. J. Pruitt -- Precinct No. 2

W. V. Marshburn, Mr. Malin, Ben Johnson, M. L. Hadley and T. R. Hunt -- Precinct No. 3

G. W. Shannon and W. A. Carlisle -- Precinct No. 4

The first Newspaper:

Robt. L. Rogers was the editor of the first paper, the Lubbock Leader. Vol. 1 No. 1 was dated, July 31, 1891. The building in which the paper was published was located on Ave. G. between Main and Broadway, or to be more exact it was located about 1107 Ave. G.

The first Bicycle:

The first bicycle was owned by F. E. Wheelock. He bought it in August 1891. This was a news item appearing in the Lubbock Leader September 11, 1891.

The first School Teacher:

Miss Minnie Tubbs was the first school teacher in Lubbock County. She taught school in the jail building in the fall of 1891.

The first Marriage License:

The first marriage license was issued to Frank E. Wheelock and Sylvia B. Hunt, December 8, 1891.

News items taken from the Lubbock Leader, published September 11, 1891 by Robert L. Rogers, Editor:

In this issue the paper is trying to get the people to build a school house. It also mentions the fact that Lubbock County has no grave yard, not withstanding the fact, we have two physicians- Dr. J. S. Lennox and Dr. C. G. Austin.

Local items:

Misses Katie and Ivy Conroe of Estacado, are visiting the Misses Hunts’ of the Nicolett Hotel.

Mr. M. A. Wood has gone to Colorado for lumber for his new home.

Mr. F. E. Wheelock lets the boys amuse themselves by riding his new bicycle. Sometimes U. G. Moore rides the bicycle all and sometimes the bicycle rides him.

News Items cont...

Judge Shannon informs us that he has heard nothing from the Comptroller in regard to the court house bonds

Miss Janie Mobley is celebrating her fourteenth birthday with a nice party given in honor of the event by her Aunt, Mrs. J. C. Coleman.

J. D. Caldwell, is advertising himself as a dealer in groceries, hardware, Cutlery, Tinware, Farming Implements, Machinery, Windmills, Etc.

G. W. Singer & Co. advertised, Dry goods, Groceries and cutlery.

The Nicolett Hotel was advertised, Geo. M. Hunt, Proprietor & Owner.

The above items appeared in the Lubbock Leader, September 11, 1891.


First death after county was organized:

Henry Jenkins, a cowboy, age about 32, died in the Nicolett Hotel, March 10, 1892, and was the first person buried in the Lubbock Cemetery.

Joseph R. Coleman was the second person to be buried in the Lubbock Cemetery. He was born October 30, 1884 and died, June 23, 1892.


Church Directory, as carried June 27, 1896, in the Press-Leader

All services held in the Court House

Christian Church: Services on Saturday night before the First Sunday in each month

Friends Church: Dr. Wm. Hunt preaches the Second Sunday each month.

Baptist Church: Rev. J. W. Winn preaches Third Sunday each month.

Methodist Church: Rev. Adams preaches Fourth Sunday each month

Sunday School: every Sunday at 3 p.m.

Singing: every Sunday 7:30 p.m.

 County Officers

P. F. Brown------------------Judge

Geo. C. Wolffarth------------Co. & District Clerk

Wm. Lay---------------------Sheriff and Tax Col

G. M. Boles------------------Tax Assessor

J. B. Mobley-----------------Treasurer

J. B. Jones-------------------County Surveyor

Press-Leader; June 27, 1896


County Commissioners

J.C. Coleman--------Precinct 1

R.C. Burns----------- " 2

G.F. Stevenson------- " 3

G.O. Groves--------- " 4

District Officers:

W.R. McGill-------------Judge

L.S. Kinder-------------Attorney

Geo. C. Wolffarth-------Clerk


Irvin L. Hunt

Dry Good & Groceries

J.D. Caldwell

Hardware & Saddlery

Farm & Ranch Supplies

Press Leader- June 27, 1896:


E. M. Harp, M.D.- Physician & Surgeon, office 10 miles south of Hale Center on Lubbock Road

Geo. L. Beatty- Lawyer, Land & Collecting Agent

City Drug Store- Dr. Wm. Hunt, Proprietor; fine candies, soap, perfumery, toilet articles and notions. Prescriptions made and filled.

The Nicolett Hotel- Proposes to PLEASE the public. Nice soft clean beds. Table furnished with the best the market affords. J.B. Green, Proprietor.


Locust Grove Sociable:

Thursday evening, December 30, 1897, in the Court house.


Games: chess, Crokinole, Table Croquet, dominoes, Authors, Etc.

Supper at 10 o’clock

At the Nicolett


Recitation------------------Miss Blanche Taylor Charade

Vocal duet-----------------Misses Nora & Myrta Hunt

Poem, "The Occasion"-----Winford Hunt

Guitar Solo-----------------Miss Lottie Hunt

Declaration-----------------Master Clifford Hunt

Guitar Solo-----------------John F. Raley

Recitation-------------------Miss Lottie Hunt




Salmagundi with Spanish sauce

Fricasseed Tripe

Bubble & Speak

Spider legs pickled


Pigeon Pie

Pot Pie

Chess Pie


Phoebe’s Poverty Cake




Batter Pudding

Bachelor Custard

Snow Balls


The first Bank:

The first bank was opened for business in the summer of 1899. It was a private bank owned by Light Knight and Henry Slayton and was located on the corner of Texas Avenue and Main Street where the First National Bank is now located.


First Church Building:

The Baptist built the first church here in the Spring of 1901. It was located on Avenue G and 13th St. The dedication was Sunday, June 2, 1901.

From the time the county was organized up to this time, all denominations held their church services in the court house.

First Cotton grown:

W. P. Florence planted the first cotton in Lubbock County in 1901. He planted 10 acres on his farm southwest of Lubbock and gathered 3 bales. He had it hauled to a gin near Big Spring, Texas to have it ginned.

First Cotton Gin:

The first cotton gin was built 1903 by F. E. Wheelock. It was located on Avenue A and 17th street.


First Electric Light Plant:

The first electric light plant in Lubbock was located on the alley between 14th and 15th streets and between Texas Avenue and Avenue J. The building was of frame construction and was about 12 X 18 ft. in size. It was built by Harry S. Graham in the Spring of 1902, and the lights were turned on about July 1, 1902. Clifford E. Hunt assisted Harry Graham in the installation of all machinery. He also dug all the holes, set all the poles, strung all the wire from the plant to the houses that were to be served and did most of the wiring in the houses which numbered about 30 in all.

City Electric light plant was built in 1909, and the lights were turned on about January 1, 1910. A Mr. Ellis was the first manager of the plant.


First Automobile Line:

In April 1905, F.E. Wheelock brought four Jackson two cylinder automobiles and started passenger service between Lubbock and Plainview. Andy Wilson, Dock Auld, Will Wheelock and Clifford Hunt were the drivers of four cars. F.E. Wheelock operated this line for about 2 years, having sold out to R.C. Burnes in the spring of 1907. Clifford Hunt was a driver of one of these cars from May 1, 1905 to July 1, 1905.


A big Snow Storm:

It began snowing at noon on Thursday, November 15, 1906, and continued to snow without letup until the following Sunday morning. The snow was 20 inches on a level in Lubbock County. 100 miles to the north of us in Randal County the snow was 30 inches on a level. Many thousand of sheep and cattle froze to death during the storm. The snow drifted badly, in some places it drifted as high as the house tops.


First Dairy:

Clifford E. Hunt started the first dairy in the fall of 1907 on his farm 2 1/2 miles south of the court house. In addition to the two milk cows he had on the farm at the time he decided to start a dairy, he bought ten durham cows from Isham Tubbs who lived seven miles west of Lubbock and twelve registered Kentucky jerseys from Julian Bassett of Crosby County. J.A. Hyatt, living at about Avenue E and Broadway, was the first customer.

First delivery of Ice & Ice Cream:

This dairy was the first to deliver ice and ice cream to the trade in the summer of 1908. The ice was hauled by wagon from Plainview.


First Concrete Building:

R.A. Rankin & Sons built the first concrete building in Lubbock. It was completed September 1, 1908. Mr. Kyle was the contractor. It is located 1110 Texas Avenue, and is now occupied by the Hungarian Cafe.

First Automobile Agency:

Dillard and Marshall established the first Automobile Agency here in the Fall of 1908. They sold the Jackson automobile.

December 18, 1908:

Clifford E. Hunt announces the sale of one half interest in his Dairy South of town to Fred Mulkey.


G.R. Bean and E.L Klett forms partnership, January 15, 1909.

About the last of January, 1909, a prairie fire started in New Mexico. A hard wind was blowing from the West and the fire swept across the Plains and was not under control until it went off the Caprock East of Crosbyton. The fire went in North of Lubbock between Abernathy and Hale Center.

November 1, 1909:

Hunt Brothers buy out the Spikes Grocery Company.

December 1, 1909:

Hunt Brothers have moved their grocery store into the Lubbock Mercantile Building which has just been completed. It is of concrete block construction.

First Railroad:

A contract was signed January 29, 1909 with the Santa Fe R.P. Co. to extend their line from Plainview to Lubbock. The Road was completed into Lubbock some time in the fall of 1909. The first Agent for the Santa Fe was W.L. Ketchum, he came here in October 1909. L.B. Ewing was Chief Clerk and R.F. Bayless was Express Cashier. Mr. Byless is still with the Company.

First Wreck on the new Railroad occurred, Sunday, November 28, 1909 about four miles north of Lubbock. The writer has a picture of this wreck.

First Volunteer Fire Department:

The first volunteer fire Dept. was organized here on Friday, November 5, 1909.

W.B. Powell---------------President

C.E. Parks-----------------Vice President

S.R. Pierce-----------------Sec’y / Treasurer

H. Frederick----------------Fire Chief

S.C. Wilson-----------------Assistant Fire Chief

The first chemical fire engine arrived here, Tuesday, November 23, 1909.

First house to burn:

Probably the first house to burn after the fire department was organized, was a house owned by Geo. L. Beatty and occupied by, Lon Tinker. This house burned Friday, November 12, and was a complete loss. The fire engine had not yet arrived at this time.

First Experimental Station:

The first State Experimental Farm was established here, November 25, 1909. The City purchased 160 acres of land from F.E. Wheelock, located 2 1/2 miles East of Lubbock for this purpose. W.S. Hotchkiss was the first Agent. He came here from Troup, Texas.

First Loaf of Bread:

The first loaf of bread ever to be sold by a grocery store in Lubbock was sold by the Hunt Grocery Company, Monday, December 6, 1909. The bread was made by, C.N. Kent owner of the City Bakery which was opened here in the summer of 1909. R.H. Martin bought this bakery January 6, 1910 and is still in the bakery business here in Lubbock, 32 years later.

First Hospital:

Doctors Geo. S. Murphy and J.N. Stoops built the first hospital here in 1909. The contract for the building was let, February 10, 1909. It was located at 2304 Main Street.

Dr. & Mrs. M.C. Overton gave a Bachelor Dinner in their home in the West part of town, Thursday evening, December 30, 1909. The following guests were present:

J.E. Vickers, Fred Robbins, Frank Faulk, Fred McDonald, Sam Williamson, V.E. Seitz, F.C. Pierce, Dr. M.C. Ballenger, Carl Goodman, Patty Swift, Henry Mount, R.F. Bayless, and Mr. McWhorter


First Telegraph Service:

The Western Union Company opened an office here January 1, 1910. H.J. Heintzlman, Mgr. & Operator

First Passenger Train Service:

The Santa Fe started regular passenger service between here and Amarillo Sunday, January 9, 1910. No 28 left 11:10 A.M. No. 27 arrived 3:30 P.M.

First Railroad Mail Service:

The Santa Fe Company was the first to carry the mail to and from Lubbock, Monday , February 21, 1910. Over 1100 pounds of mail that day.

First Bottling Works:

Lubbock Bottling Works opens for business on April 28, 1910. On East Broadway

First Steam Laundry:

A Mr. Palmer started the first steam laundry here about February 1, 1910. The building was located about Avenue F and 13th St.

First Brick School Building:

The first brick school building was completed in February 1910. It was and still is located between 13th and 14th streets and between Avenue O and Avenue Q.

News Item: April 2, 1910

Warren Bacon sells his ranch in the North East Corner of the County, to L.E. Dow for a cash consideration of $35,244. He sold 1958 acres.

News Item : February 3, 1910

Mrs. I.I. Hunt left today for Canyon, where she will join her husband who is cashier of the Canyon National Bank.

News Items:

A.P. Smith, Janitor for the Lubbock Mercantile Company, was found dead in his bed in the basement of the Hunt Grocery Company, Saturday morning, February 5, 1910.

February 6, 1910- E.Y. Lee went to Plainview on the Train where he is to meet his wife and daughter.

March 10, 1910- Mrs. F.E. Wheelock is in the Murphy & Stoors Hospital where she underwent an operation today.

February 10, 1910- Geo. M. Hunt has purchased the building formerly owned by W.A. Bacon, and has moved it on the lots just West of Dr. Stoops’ residence, and has just rented it to J.F. Turner.

First Old Settlers Association:

On Saturday April 2, 1910 a group of Old Timers met in the Courthouse for the purpose of organizing an Old Settlers Association. Geo M. Hunt was elected Temporary chairman. Andy Wilson, J.H. Mobley and Mrs. E. Boyd were appointed to serve on a committee to draft bylaws for the new organization. A few meetings were held as a result of this new organization, but it was not until in the year 1925 that the Lubbock County Pioneers Association was formed.


First Concrete Sidewalk:

The City Council let contract to Willmering & Mullen of Amarillo July 10, 1911, for the first concrete sidewalk in Lubbock. It extended from the Santa Fe Depot on Main Street to the West side of the Sq. and then South on Texas Avenue to Broadway.

First Sewer line:

The City Council let contract on Wednesday, July 19, 1911 to Dalton & Campbell to construct the first sewer line in Lubbock.


News Item: May 1, 1912

City Ice Plant starts delivering ice.

News Item: May 4, 1912

C.E. Hunt opens new grocery store in Martin’s Bakery Building, 1310 Texas Avenue.

News Item: May 17, 1912

Graduation exercises of Lubbock High School were held Friday evening, 8:30 p.m. 5, 10, and 15 cent admission was charged. Graduating Class:

Ruth Kennedy

Ruth Essex

Mattie Roy

David Aynes

Clyde Gibson

News Item: August 22, 1912

Mrs. Overton & Clayton announce the opening of a sanitarium in the old hotel building.

County Fair:

First mass meeting ever held in Lubbock to discuss the organization of a county fair, was held at 3:00 p.m. in the courthouse, Saturday May 1, 1912.

First Carnival:

The first carnival in Lubbock was sponsored by the Fire Department July 8 to July 14, 1912.

First Brick Hotel:

Merrill & Roberds built the first brick hotel in 1912. It was open for business Sunday, September 1, 1912. A Mr. Ralph was manager. It was located on the corner of Main St. and Texas Avenue, where the Hilton Hotel now stands.

September 2, 1912:

C.E. Hunt moves his grocery store to the Chas. Burrus building, two doors west of Citizens National Bank.


Big Fire on West Side of Square:

A little after midnight on January 1, 1913 a fire started on the West side of the Square and destroyed five buildings.

News Item: August 7, 1913

Hunt Grocery Company and Martin Bakery consolidates.

News Item: September 11, 1913

Dr. M.C. Overton closed a deal for the Tremont Hotel Building.

First County Fair:

The first County Fair was held Monday, October 6, 1913. V.L. Cory, L.O. Burford and P.F. Brown were the judges. The fair was held in a large frame building that had been used as a skating rink. It was located at 1112 Broadway. The building was owned by, B.O. McWhorter.


Passenger Service:

to Clovis

The Santa Fe Railway Company began passenger service between Lubbock and Clovis New Mexico, Sunday March 1, 1914.


First Florist:

J.C. (Callie) Dean opened the first Floral shop in Lubbock, April 3, 1917.


First Street Pavement:

Two blocks on Broadway, just south of the Courthouse Square was the first pavement in Lubbock. It was completed in September, 1920.


First Daily Newspaper:

James L. Dow was the editor who published the first daily newspaper. Vol. 1. No. 1 came off the press, Wednesday, November 1, 1922.


First Earth Tremor:

The first earthquake ever to be recorded as having been felt in Lubbock, was Thursday, July 30, 1925, 6:30 A.M. A second earth tremor was recorded as having been felt in Lubbock on Sunday, August 16, 1931.

J.C. Penney Company:

J.C. Penney has opened a store in the Temple Ellis Building. August 7, 1925 Jack Parson, Manager.


Natural Gas:

West Texas Gas Company supplied the first natural gas here in Lubbock, Saturday, October 1, 1927. The gas was piped from the north of Amarillo.


First Talking Pictures:

First talking pictures were shown at the Palace, Sunday, February 17, 1929. John R. Oxford was the operator.


First Radio Broadcasting Station:

K.F.Y.O. was the first broadcasting station in Lubbock. It came on the air, 4:45 A.M., Saturday, April 23, 1932. It was located in Hotel Lubbock.


First Dial Telephone:

Dial Telephone went into use in Lubbock for the first time at midnight, August 2, 1941.



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