Morton, Texas, may be a small town in the western part of the state, but it has a rich history that spans back over a century. Over the years, this charming community has seen many historical events that have left their mark on the area. Here are seven of the most significant moments in Morton's history:
1. Founding of Morton
Morton was founded in 1923 when the Santa Fe Railroad extended its tracks into the area. The town's namesake is James H. Morton, an employee of the railroad who played a key role in bringing the line to the region. Over the next few years, the town quickly grew as settlers moved in to take advantage of the new transportation link.
2. Dust Bowl
In the 1930s, Morton was hit hard by the Dust Bowl. This environmental disaster caused dry, hot winds to blow across the Great Plains, resulting in massive dust storms that devastated crops and livestock. In Morton, many families were forced to leave the area in search of better economic prospects.
3. Ranching and Agriculture
Despite the challenges posed by the Dust Bowl, ranching and agriculture remained important industries in Morton throughout the 20th century. The area is known for its cotton production and cattle ranching, and many residents have made a living working in these industries.
4. Camp Two
During World War II, Morton was home to a military training camp known as Camp Two. The camp was used to train soldiers in the use of flamethrowers and other weapons before they were deployed overseas. Although the camp was dismantled after the war, its presence had a significant impact on the local economy and brought many new people to the area.
Morton has been hit by several devastating tornadoes over the years. One of the most significant occurred in 1965 when a massive twister touched down in the town, killing six people and causing widespread destruction. Since then, the town has made efforts to improve its tornado warning system and prepare residents for severe weather events.
In the 1960s, Morton was also impacted by the national movement for civil rights and integration. The town's schools were desegregated in 1965, and African American students were allowed to attend previously all-white schools. While the transition was not always smooth, today Morton is a diverse community where people of all races and backgrounds live and work together.
7. West Texas Oil Boom
In the early 20th century, Morton was situated in the midst of the West Texas oil boom. Many oil wells were drilled in the area, and the town became a hub of activity for the oil industry. Today, the oil and gas industry remains an important part of the region's economy.
In conclusion, Morton may be a small town, but it has a rich history that is closely tied to the broader events and trends that have shaped Texas and the United States. From the Dust Bowl to World War II to the civil rights movement, Morton has seen it all and continues to be a vibrant and important community in the heart of West Texas.
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