Panhandle Plains
2010 Census - 2,468
2000 Census - 2,584
Ranger, Texas
Ranger Texas History:
In the 1870s, the Texas Rangers had a camp in the Ranger area. By 1879, the community of Ranger Camp Valley was established two miles southwest of the ranger camp. This tent city had churches, schools, a hotel and a general store. When the Texas and Pacific Railway Company built a line a couple of miles west the community in 1880, I.G. Searcy deeded 160 acres of land to the railroad. Businesses and residents of Ranger Camp Valley moved to the railroad site and established the town of Ranger. The post office was established that same year. By 1904, Ranger was a commercial and shipping center for area farmers and Stephens County, an important wheat producing county. The town had five physicians, a bank, a high school, a women’s literary club, and had 750 residents. Devastated by the 1917 drought, a few residents encouraged William Knox Gordon, vice president of the Texas Pacific Coal and Oil Company, to begin testing for oil. The first well was a disappointment. The second well, the McClesky No. 1, came in big and started a major oil boom that lasted two years. Ranger incorporated in 1919. After the Great Depression the economy improved through sheep and goat ranching. In the 1970s, Eastland County became the second most important peanut growing county in the state. Ranger is located at the intersections of IH-20, Loop 254, FM 101 and RR 2461, 43 miles northeast of Cross Plains, 21 miles northeast of Cisco, 10 miles northeast of Eastland, 65 miles east of Abilene, 31 miles southeast of Breckenridge, 51.5 miles south of Graham, 30 miles southwest of Palo Pinto, 23 miles southwest of Gordon, 17.5 miles southwest of Thurber, 15.5 miles southwest of Strawn, 44 miles northwest of Stephenville, and 40 miles northwest of De Leon, Texas.
Texas Plains Trail Region:
The 52-county Texas Plains Trail Region includes the Texas Panhandle and Plains. It stretches from the Texas towns of Big Spring and Colorado City in the southern portion of the region, to Muleshoe and the New Mexico state border in the west, to Quanah and Knox City in the east, and to the top of the Texas Panhandle, from Dalhart in the west to Lipscomb in the east. The Texas Plains Trail Region organization is a nonprofit heritage tourism organization affiliated with the Texas Historical Commission. TPTR acts as an economic development initiative that helps Texas communities to promote their historic and cultural resources, and increase tourism to their areas. The organization helps promote travel to heritage destinations and historic sites. A name repeatedly mentioned in the history of West Texas is Cynthia Ann Parker, a young child captured during a raid on Fort Parker. She grew up among the Comanches, married Comanche chief Peta Nocona, and had three children, Pecos, Quanah and Prairie Flower. In 1860, a party of Texas Rangers led by Sul Ross, a future governor of Texas, rescued her and her infant daughter Prairie Flower; Charles Goodnight participated in this raid. Her son Quanah became famous as the last great war chief of the Comanche. One of TPTR’s most visible recent projects is the Quanah Parker Trail. When the project is completed, giant Quanah Parker arrow markers will have been installed in all 52 counties in the Texas Plains Trail Region. Some counties will have more than one installation. The arrows were created and donated by New Home, Texas, artist Charles Smith. As of early 2014, over 70 arrows had been installed in almost 50 counties. Each arrow will have a plaque giving pertinent historical information. (806) 747-1997. P.O. Box 88, Lubbock, Texas 79408. Email  Plains Trail Map
WPA Post Office Murals History:
During the Great Depression FDR created the New Deal Program to provide jobs for out of work American men by funding construction projects to build post offices and other buildings, and state and local parks. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created in May, 1935, under the New Deal Program. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture, later known as The Section of Fine Arts, put artists to work by funding Post Office Murals to be placed in the new post offices. Though the majority of the post office art consists of oil paintings on canvas, other art mediums were also used. The murals are located in every state. Post Office Murals Photos
Ranger WPA Post Office Mural, 1939:
Emil Bisstram painted the "The Crossroads Town" mural in 1939. The mural is located at the 1937 post office at 202 North Austin Street, Ranger. (254) 647-1175.
Ranger Antique Airfield (F23):
The city owned field was established in 1938. It is the third oldest airport in Texas. It consists of two grass runways. Amelia Earhart landed at the field in 1931 in her Beech-Nut Gum sponsored Pitcairn Autogiro. Managed by Charles Calvert, the airport held its first air show in May 2008. Jared Calvert, a local pilot, was featured on Bob Phillips' Texas Country Reporter television series to bring public awareness to the effort of preserving the historic site. The non-profit Calvert Charitable Projects (CCP) was established by then 21 year old Jared Calvert to preserve the historic Ranger Field. The Barn Cub airplane is being restored; this 1946 J3-C will be used for children’s airplane rides. A “period” hanger will be constructed to house The Barn Cub, other aircraft and memorabilia. The airport offers public parking, hangers and tie downs. (254) 433-1267. The airport is located 2 miles south of Ranger at 1402 Oddie Street. Facebook
Roaring Ranger Museum & Ranger Chamber of Commerce:
The museum and chamber are located in the historic Texas and Pacific Railway Depot. The museum features exhibits depicting the history of the oil boom, the town and Eastland County. Open Sat, 10am-3pm. Call the Ranger Chamber of Commerce to arrange a weekday visit. (254) 647-3091. 121 South Commerce Street.
Ranger Junior College:
(254) 647-3234. 1100 College Circle.
Ranger City Library:
The library was founded by the 1903 Club; by 1919 it had 4,000 books. Today it has approximately 12,000 books. The library provides traditional library services, public access computers with internet connections, and offers free Wi-Fi. Open Mon, 10am-7:30pm; Tue-Fri, 10am-6pm; closed Sunday, Monday and holidays. (254) 647-1880. 718 Pine Street. Email
Annual Antique Fly-In & Airshow, Oct:
(254) 433-1267. The airport is located 2 miles south of Ranger at 1402 Oddie Street.
Annual Ranger Antique Airfield Pecan Run, Oct:
Over 30 briskets are smoked over pecan wood for over 20 hours. (254) 433-1267. The airport is located 2 miles south of Ranger at 1402 Oddie Street.
New York Hill Restaurant, Thurber, TX, 1989:
The restaurant is located on the top of New York Hill overlooking the small town of Thurber. It is located adjacent to Greystone Castle and the W.K. Gordon Museum. It overlooks the historic Thurber bandstand, a typical miner’s home, the historic caboose, and the town’s two bocce ball courts.Free Wi-Fi is available. Open Sun-Thu, 7:30am-9pm; Fri-Sat, 7:30am-10pm. (254) 672-5848. 292 CR 107, Thurber, Texas. Take the IH-20 Exit 367. Email 
Smokestack Restaurant, Thurber, TX:
This restaurant was originally housed in the old Thurber Drugstore building. When the building burned in 1992 the Bennett family rebuilt the restaurant in the north end of the old Texas & Pacific Mercantile building which was built out of the original late 1890s Thurber bricks. The restaurant takes its name from the tall smokestack that used to provide the town’s electricity. In addition to serving homemade country style cooking, they sell six packs of Dublin Dr. Pepper made with Imperial Pure Cane Sugar. Open Sun-Thu, 7am-9pm; Fri-Sat, 7am-10pm. (254) 672-5560. Take the IH-20 Exit 367. Email