PHS mascot: Phillips Blackhawks

Phillips High School
Alumni Association
P.O. Box 1710, Borger TX 79008

PHS mascot: Phillips Blackhawks


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Hutchinson County: Places Now Gone

Hutchinson County, Texas
Places now gone, mostly company camps, not on most maps

Adobe Walls Gulf Camp Peacevale
Alhambra Holt Philrich Camp
Alpha Huber Camp Philview Camp
Antelope Huber Premier Camp Plemons
Armstrong Camp Ideal Prairie Johnson Camp
Barksdale Ingerton Riverview Camp
Bugbee Isom Rock Creek Carbon Camp
Bunavista Jeffry Santa Fe Camp
Capps Johnson Camp Signal Hill
Coble Lease McIlroy Camp Skiatex Camp
Combined Carbon Camp Marlin Camp Sneed Camp
Continental Camp Morse Junction Stekoll Camp
Cosmos Camp Oil City Sunset Heights
Devonian Camp Panhandle Camp Supreme Camp
Dorset Camp Panhandle Eastern Camp Texroy
GeWhitt Pantex Western Columbia Camp
Gibson-Whittenburg Camp Patburg Whittenburg

A recent map of Hutchinson County is HERE
A 1930's map of Hutchinson County is HERE

A 1907 map of Hutchinson County is HERE

Company camps 

Beginning in the 1920’s when oil was discovered in Hutchinson County, the camps were built because employees were needed to operate the growing industries. With Hutchinson County being a sparsely populated and rather desolate Panhandle of Texas place, there was no way to persuade employees to move to the area unless housing could be provided, so camps were built to provide it.

Camps frequently followed a similar pattern beginning as cluster of tents, somewhere for a man to rest and catch a few hours sleep between shifts on the rigs that were operating around the clock, pushing drill-bits into the earth. The camps grew rapidly from tent towns to permanent buildings. Few of the buildings were fancy especially in the early years. A lot of them were just raw boards covered with tarpaper, the inside walls papered or sometimes covered with stretched muslin. As the years passed the camps were improved and some had several large rambling buildings, bunkhouses offering one-room accommodations for single men, two-room apartments for married couples. Small houses, three and four-room structures, provided homes for families with children. Many early camps had no stores, though in some of them there were dinning-halls that also filled lunch-pails of the unmarried men. 

Most camp residents shopped once a week in Borger, the first oil boomtown of the Texas Panhandle and the only one of a number of area boomtowns that survived and grew. With roads that were either bad or non-existent, twin ruts cut by wagons across the bare unbroken prairie and deepened by the ubiquitous Model T’s, even getting to Borger wasn’t always easy. Two or three miles was a long drive when ruts filled up with rain and snow-water.

From the oil boom’s beginnings until years after World War II, the oil camps dominated the Borger area, but it was during the decades of the 1930’s that they reached their peak. By that time the major producers had moved into the Borger field, buying out the independents, many of whom were in deep trouble after the 1929 crash. Most of the independents had small camps of some kind, a few of the larger companies had camps of substantial size, and all of them maintained at least one house on every lease to accommodate the pumpers.  

When the oil camps were at their peak, in the early postwar years, more people lived in them than did in Borger itself. Ultimately, only Phillips and Huber were left as camp operators, and both companies began phasing out this part of their operations in the 1950’s. Although several camps lasted long after Borger became a thriving city, the camps have now disappeared with buildings either demolished or relocated. 

Adapted from:


Adobe Walls was the name given several trading posts and later a ranching community located seventeen miles northeast of Stinnett and just north of the Canadian River in what is now northeastern Hutchinson County. The first trading post in the area seems to have been established in early 1843 by representatives of the trading firm of Bent, St. Vrain and Company, which hoped to trade with the Comanches and Kiowas. These Indians avoided Bent's Fort, the company's main headquarters on the upper Arkansas River near La Junta, Colorado, because enemies, the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, lived in the area. The new satellite post was situated on a stream that became known as Bent's (now Bent) Creek. Company traders worked originally from tepees and later from log structures. Probably no real fort was built on the site before 1846. Sometime after September 1845 William Bent and Ceran St. Vrain, chief partners in the firm, arrived with Mexican adobe makers to replace the log establishment with Fort Adobe, a structure eighty feet square, with nine-foot walls and only one entrance.

Occupation of Fort Adobe was sporadic, and by 1848 Indian hostility had resulted in its closure. That fall a momentary peace was effected, and Bent sought to reopen the post by sending Christopher (Kit) Carson, Lucien Maxwell, and five other employees to the Canadian. Resistance from the Jicarilla Apaches, however, forced Carson's group to cache the trade goods and buffalo robes they had acquired and return to Bent's Fort. Soon after, several Comanches persuaded Bent to make another try at resuming trade at Fort Adobe. A thirteen-man party, led by R. W. (Dick) Wootton, encountered restive Comanches at the fort and finally conducted trade through a window cut in the wall. In the spring of 1849, in a last concerted effort to revive the post, Bent accompanied several ox-drawn wagons to the Canadian. After part of his stock was killed by Indians, he blew up the fort's interior with gunpowder and abandoned the Panhandle trade to the Comancheros.

The adobe ruins thus became a familiar landmark to both Indians and Comancheros and to any white man who dared to venture into the heart of Comanchería. In November 1864 Carson, now a colonel of volunteers, used the walls of Fort Adobe to rest his 300 men and their horses after sacking a Kiowa village during a campaign against the tribes of the southern Plains. The group withstood several Indian attacks (First Battle of Adobe Walls) at the fort before withdrawing.

In March 1874 merchants from Dodge City, Kansas, following the buffalo hunters south into the Texas Panhandle, established a large complex, called the Myers and Leonard Store, about a mile north of the Fort Adobe ruins. This business, which included a corral and restaurant, was joined in April 1874 by a second store operated by Charles Rath and Company. Shortly afterward James N. Hanrahan and Rath opened a saloon, and Tom O'Keefe started a blacksmith shop. By the end of spring, 200 to 300 buffalo hunters roamed the area, and trade at Adobe Walls boomed. After an Indian uprising called the Second Battle of Adobe Walls (June 1874) both merchants and hunters abandoned the site.

In the early 1880s James M. Coburn established his Turkey Track Ranch headquarters near the old battle site and persuaded William (Billy) Dixon, a scout and survivor of the 1874 battle, to homestead several sections nearby. Dixon built his house at the ruins of Fort Adobe. In August 1887 a post office was established at the Dixon homestead, where Dixon and S. G. Carter also operated a ranch-supply store. Dixon served as postmaster until 1901, when he was elected the county's first sheriff. He resigned shortly afterward and about 1902 moved to Plemons. A school was also established; after the first building burned in 1920, school was conducted on the second floor of Dixon's old home until a new structure could be built. Although the Dodge City Times advertised Adobe Walls as "a fine settlement with some twenty families," there never was a real community in the area except for the ranchers and their employees and families. The post office remained in operation until October 1921. From 1940 until 1970 Adobe Walls was listed in the Texas Almanac as having a population of fifteen. In 1987 a few scattered ranch dwellings marked the area.

During the 1920s several local and state projects were launched to mark the battle site at Adobe Walls and make it more accessible. In 1923 the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society acquired a six-acre tract that contained the remains of the 1874 trading post. The society conducted major archeological excavations at this site in the 1970s. In 1978 the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places and recognized as a Texas state archeological landmark. Though all signs of the Adobe Walls ruins have long since been obliterated, a monument has been erected at the site.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: T. Lindsay Baker and Billy R. Harrison, Adobe Walls: The History and Archaeology of the 1874 Trading Post (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1986). T. Lindsay Baker, Ghost Towns of Texas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986). George Bird Grinnell, "Bent's Old Fort and Its Builders," Collections of the Kansas State Historical Society, 1919–1922 15 (1923). Arthur Hecht, comp., Postal History in the Texas Panhandle (Canyon, Texas: Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, 1960). Hutchinson County Historical Commission, History of Hutchinson County, Texas (Dallas: Taylor, 1980). David Lavender, Bent's Fort (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1954). Mildred P. Mayhall, The Kiowas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1962; 2d ed. 1971). John L. McCarty, Adobe Walls Bride (San Antonio: Naylor, 1955). Frederick W. Rathjen, The Texas Panhandle Frontier (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1973).


A small camp once located near Borger.


A small community once located in Southeastern Hutchinson County. This once vibrant community, in existence before 1901,  at one time boasted a post office, a store, and a baseball team. There was also a school that later consolidated with Spring Creek


A small community centered around Alpha School which was located West of Pringle. The first school census showed 27 students in 1913, but only 12 in 1926. The school was consolidated with Pringle.


A small camp once located on the East edge of Antelope Creek Canyon.


A small community with postal service in 1907 once located in Northwestern Hutchinson County.


Free-range cattlemen were the first settlers in Hutchinson County. In November 1876 Thomas Sherman Bugbee started the Quarter Circle T Ranch; his daughter Ruby was the first white child born in Hutchinson County. Ranch headquarters was used as a post office according to a 1907 postal map and in 1900 housed a part-time school. There was also a small general store.
There was also once  'Old Bugbee Fort' near Plemons with a stone schoolhouse where many early settlers were educated.


Bunavista, west of Borger in southern Hutchinson County, was established in 1942 to house employees of a federal government synthetic rubber plant. It was allegedly named after the "Buna S" process for manufacturing synthetic rubber. When World War II cut off the supply of natural rubber, the Phillips Petroleum Company supervised the construction and operation of this plant, which produced butadiene, an essential ingredient of synthetic rubber. Almost overnight a settlement grew up around the enterprise. Local mail came through the post office in Borger. In 1955 Phillips bought the facility, which became its Copolymer Synthetic Rubber Plant. Several types of synthetic rubber for various uses were manufactured there in the 1980s. By 1966 much of the government housing around the premises had been sold and removed. The population in Bunavista was listed at 2,067 in 1960, at 1,402 in 1970, and at 1,410 in 1980. In 1979 part of Bunavista was incorporated into the city of Borger, and by 1990 Bunavista was a named locale in Borger.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:  Hutchinson County Historical Commission, History of Hutchinson County, Texas (Dallas: Taylor, 1980).


A tiny community once located Northwest of Pringle on the now-abandoned Texas North Western Railway Company line.


An early Phillips Petroleum Co. camp once located on the W.T. Coble ranch.


A small United Carbon Co. camp once located 2 miles West of Sanford.


A small Marland Oil, later Continental Oil Co., camp once located near Borger.


A small camp once located near Borger.


A small camp, named for the geologic period during which many oil reserves were formed, once located near Borger.


A small camp once located near Borger.


GeWhitt, a town that was, by April 1943, reverting back to the vast prairie it was before the oil boom of the 1920s. Located between Borger and Stinnett on the north side of the Canadian River and just off the west side of Highway 207, the little boomtown flourished from 1926 to 1928. Just as soon as Borger began to boom,  many small oil towns mushroomed throughout the county.

GeWhitt was one town that was bustling on the heels of Borger's beginnings. Its townsite and blocks were marked off for future residential and business sections.  The town had a opulation of 500 at one time and included a two-story hotel, filling stations, a dry goods store, four cafes and an oil company. Within two short years, citizens began moving, many to the booming town of Borger. Rivaling GeWhitt for existence at the time were two other nearby boomtowns, Oil City to the southwest and Signal Hill to the northeast. 

In October 1942 the town officially ceased when its post office closed. The building that housed the 4th class mail, a filling station and grocery store was torn down and sold for scrap lumber. The postmaster moved his family into Borger to find employment. Only overgrown trails, broken bits of glass, pottery and rusty metal mark the site of what was intended to be an oil center on the rolling high plains of Texas.


A small Phillips Petroleum Co. camp once located North of Borger.


A small Gulf Oil Co. camp once located South of Borger on Hwy 207.


Holt Cemetery: In the late 1890s Texas enacted colonization and Homestead Laws that significantly quickened the settlement of the then sparsely populated Panhandle region of north Texas. Hutchinson County soon recorded the required 150 applications for land purchases in the county to formally organize in 1901. In 1903 early county settlers Benjamin and Birda May (Kirk) Holt donated seven acres to be used as the site of a community schoolhouse and cemetery. The first person buried here was Nola Storrs in 1909.

A new schoohouse was built in 1916 and in 1917 the Holts legally recorded their 7-acre donation. Five acres were set aside for school purposes and 2 acres for the cemetery, which at that time contained about 11 gravesites. When Holt School trustees deeded the school’s 5 acres and vacated schoolhouse to the Holt Cemetery Association in 1948, about an acre was converted for cemetery use.

In 1907 the Cemetery Association established policies governing the use of the site. The cemetery, which continues to serve the local community, contains the gravesites of many of this area’s first settlers and those of veterans of World War I, World War II, and the Korean Conflict.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1989.

Holt School: A county-wide public school district was established soon after Hutchinson County was created in 1901. As more people began to settle in the area, regional school districts were formed.

Common School District No. 8 was established in the northeastern corner of the county in 1902. The first schoolhouse, located on land owned by Benjamin Calvin Holt, was a one-room structure built in 1903.

This two-room schoolhouse was constructed in 1916 with lumber and other building materials hauled in from Texoma, Oklahoma. The simple wooden structure exhibits classical revival style detailings, especially in the gable entrance. Other features include oversized windows and decorative wood shingles.

Regular school classes were held here until 1935, when students began attending school in Spearman. The building, however, remained a community gathering place. The site of worship services, weddings and funerals, it has also hosted community activities such as quilting bees and local theater productions and continues to serve as an election polling place. The school buildings and grounds were deeded to the Holt Cemetery Association in 1949.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1989. 


Once known as Marlin Camp, Huber Camp was located Southeast of Borger.


A small J. M. Huber Co. camp once located West of Bunavista. 


A one-time postal stop in Northwestern Hutchinson County which is shown on the 1907 postal map.

See Oil City, TX


Isom, once an independent town, is now the oldest of several communities that collectively make up the city of Borger, in south central Hutchinson County. It was founded in 1898 by rancher John F. Weatherly, who built a dugout on the site for his family, and originally dubbed Granada. It was renamed by Weatherly's wife, Maggie, for a now-defunct town in her home state of West Virginia. As Weatherly acquired more land, other settlers moved in. In 1900 a post office was established, and Weatherly opened the town's first store in the basement of his stone ranchhouse. A school was begun in 1907, and Maggie Weatherly opened a cafe. The post office remained in operation until October 1919, when the mail was directed to Plemons. Although the Weatherlys moved to the town of Panhandle in 1922, they retained ownership of the townsite of Isom. In May 1926, after an oil boom resulted in the founding of Borger, Weatherly moved the town to the Santa Fe Railroad's oilfield branch line and platted it adjacent to Borger. First Street marked the dividing line; all lots south of the street were in Isom. For seven months, both towns vied for the coveted role of capital of the county's oilfields. The railroad depot and several oil-well supply houses were located in Isom, and newspaper ads attracted many who hoped to profit from the boom. On December 1, however, 1,200 residents successfully petitioned that Isom be merged with Borger. By 1927 the consolidation of the Isom school with that of Borger had made the merger complete.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Hutchinson County Historical Commission, History of Hutchinson County, Texas (Dallas: Taylor, 1980). F. Stanley, The Isom,Texas, Story (Nazareth, Texas, 1973).


Jeffry, in northeastern Hutchinson County, had a post office from March 1902 to October 1918, after which mail was sent to Adobe Walls. Area children attended the Holt School, built in 1906 on land donated by Ben Holt. This school reported fifty-seven students around 1916–18 but only seven in 1928. In 1949 the school was consolidated with the Pringle and Spearman schools, and its building was subsequently used as a community center. A 1982 map showed a cemetery nearby.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Arthur Hecht, comp., Postal History in the Texas Panhandle (Canyon, Texas: Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, 1960). Hutchinson County Historical Commission, History of Hutchinson County, Texas (Dallas: Taylor, 1980).


A small camp once located on Antelope Creek between Sanford and Fritch.
A Phillips Petroleum Co. camp also named Johnson Camp was once located North of Borger.


A small United Carbon camp once located SE of Borger.


A small Marlin Oil Co. camp once located Southeast of Borger that later became Huber Camp.


A purported ‘population place’, Morse Junction is located in Northern Hutchinson County at the junction of 2 tracks of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad located North of Route 281 and West of State Hwy 136.


Oil City, on Big Creek in southwestern Hutchinson County, was originally known as Ingerton when it was a rural school located on the Henry Yake ranch. During the Panhandle oil boom of the 1920s, a small camp called Oil City sprang up and grew as a stop on the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf line between Stinnett and Fritch. In addition to a depot, a new school was built, and in 1927 a post office was established. The Oil City boom days, however, were short-lived. Its post office was discontinued in 1929. Its school remained active until 1949, when the Ingerton district was consolidated with the Stinnett schools. By 1940 Oil City had only one business and a population of twenty-five; it managed to survive until the Rock Island abandoned the section of the line between Amarillo and Stinnett in 1972. The growth of nearby towns, along with the advent of the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, also figured in its demise.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Arthur Hecht, comp., Postal History in the Texas Panhandle (Canyon, Texas: Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, 1960). Hutchinson County Historical Commission, History of Hutchinson County, Texas (Dallas: Taylor, 1980).


A small Phillips Petroleum Co. camp once located South of Borger.


A small camp once located near Fritch. See SNEED CAMP, TX 


See Phillips, TX
Whittenburg, TX  


A small Phillips Petroleum Co.  camp now incorporated into the city of Borger. 


A small Phillips Petroleum Co. camp once located West of Phillips near the Borger Airport.


A postal stop once located  in Eastern Hutchinson County which is shown on the 1907 postal map.


Once located Northwest of Bunavista on the North side of Hwy 136, as late as 1950 Philrich was included as part of USPS addreses, e.g., 613 Avenue B, Philrich, Borger, Texas.


 A small camp once located West of Borger.


Plemons had its beginning in 1898 when James A. Whittenburg, an area rancher, built his dugout in a hill overlooking a bend in the Canadian River in central Hutchinson County. The site was named for Barney Plemons, the son of Amarillo judge and state legislator William Buford Plemons, who had filed on land there. When the county was organized in the spring of 1901, Plemons was chosen county seat. A school and a post office were established, and a road was laid out from Plemons toward Dumas in Moore County. A two-story frame courthouse was built later that year, replacing a smaller temporary structure. Plemons experienced slow growth as a river-crossing town for area ranches, including the Turkey Track and Tar Box outfits. Between 1902 and 1905, a wagonyard, a barbershop, a doctor's office, a drugstore, and a mercantile store were established, and at least fifteen families made Plemons their home. William (Billy) Dixon, former buffalo hunter, scout, and the county's first sheriff, moved his growing family to Plemons and for three years operated a boarding house. Despite the fact that his three oldest children went to school in Plemons, Dixon claimed that he "found living in town worse than it could have been in jail." Although a permanent church building was never constructed, a parsonage was built, and services were held either in the school or the courthouse. The community also became noted for its string band and five-day teacher institutes. Plemons declined when the Amarillo branch line of the Rock Island line bypassed it. A special election in the fall of 1926 made the new town of Stinnett, ten miles to the northwest and on the railroad, county seat. Nevertheless, Plemons managed to survive for two more decades with hopes of profiting from the county's oil boom. Considerable excitement occurred on March 18, 1932, when W. J. (Shine) Popejoy, the king of the Texas bootleggers, held up the town bank. In 1940 Plemons reported three businesses and a population of 100. By the 1950s, however, the town fell into oblivion as more residents moved to neighboring communities. The post office was closed in June 1952. The Plemons Independent School District, begun in 1925,  is now part of the Plemons-Stinnett-Phillips Independent School District. Only the cemetery stands as a reminder of its heyday.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Olive K. Dixon, Life of "Billy" Dixon (1914; rev. ed., Dallas: Turner, 1927; facsimile, Austin: State House, 1987). Hutchinson County Historical Commission, History of Hutchinson County, Texas (Dallas: Taylor, 1980). John L. McCarty, Adobe Walls Bride (San Antonio: Naylor, 1955). Jerry Sinise, Black Gold and Red Lights (Burnet, Texas: Eakin Press, 1982). F. Stanley, The Plemons Story (Nazareth, Texas, 1973).


A small Phillips Petroleum Co. camp that is now a part of Borger.


A small camp once located near the Borger power plant.


A small Phillips Petroleum Co. camp once located West of Borger.


A Santa Fe Railroad Camp once located near Borger.


Signal Hill was a small oil boom camp a mile and a half east of Stinnett in Hutchinson County. It was founded in 1926 by Earl Thompson on a tentative survey of the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway and had a brief but uninhibited life as a quasi-independent community during the boom of the late 1920s. Throughout this time it was generally regarded as a hangout for bootleggers, prostitutes, gamblers, and other undesirables who drifted into the oil fields. Among the noted criminals who frequented Signal Hill were Ray Terrell, Ace Pendleton, Matt Kimes, and the bootlegging brothers Torrance and W. J. (Shine) Popejoy. At its peak in 1926–27, the camp was infested with beer emporiums, brothels, gambling dens, speakeasies, and other places of ill repute. Thompson opened a bank in Signal Hill. In addition, the settlement contained four drugstores, a bakery, an ice house, a dozen filling stations, a welding shop, a boiler shop, a hardware store, three oil-supply houses, a meat market, a movie house, and several hotels and rooming houses. One citizen recalled that the post office was the only place in the camp that did not sell alcoholic beverages. After the first cleanup of the Borger area by Texas Rangersqv in 1927, Signal Hill's population rapidly decreased, as its centers of vice were shut down. The proposed railroad spur was never built, and the community was abandoned in about a year.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Jerry Sinise, Black Gold and Red Lights (Burnet, Texas: Eakin Press, 1982). F. Stanley, The Signal Hill Story (Nazareth, Texas, 1973).


First of the major camps was Skiatex, on Dixon Creek about three miles east of where Borger now stands near Spring Creek School. Skiatex was built by Jake Phillips in 1925; it was one of the first in which wooden structures replaced tents. It was also one of the few camps that had a dependable water supply.


A small Panhandle Eastern pipeline booster station camp once located North of Borger. See PANHANDLE EASTERN CAMP, TX


A small camp once located Northeast of Borger.


Small community or oilfield "camp" of approximately 50 homes built in late 1940's and inhabited by oil refinery worker's families until 1980's when camp was closed (destroyed) by Phillips Petroleum Co.


A small Phillips Petroleum Co. camp once located North of Stinnett.


Texroy, a small Phillips Petroleum Co. oilfield community five miles southeast of Borger in southern Hutchinson County, was established in the late 1920s during the height of the local oil boom and was named for S. D. (Tex) McIlroy, founder of the Dixon Creek Oil and Refinery Company. The Texroy community reportedly had a population of fifty in 1948 and was on a mail route from White Deer. It was eventually absorbed by Borger.


A small carbon black workers’ camp once located near Borger. 


Whittenburg, in southern Hutchinson County one mile northeast of Borger, was founded in 1926 by rancher James A. Whittenburg to cash in on the impending oil boom. It was meant to house employees of the Phillips Petroleum Company, which began constructing its first Panhandle plant nearby, the Alamo Refinery. As the boom increased, shanties and overcrowded rooming houses were soon replaced by more permanent houses and businesses. A post office was established in 1926, churches were founded, and a school system was organized. By 1936 Whittenburg reported a population of 200. In the meantime the neighboring community of Pantex, which had a modern hospital facility and for a brief time its own post office, reported a population of fifty. In 1938 the two townsites voted to merge under the name of Phillips.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Arthur Hecht, comp., Postal History in the Texas Panhandle (Canyon, Texas: Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, 1960). Hutchinson County Historical Commission, History of Hutchinson County, Texas (Dallas: Taylor, 1980).

The above information was gleaned from several sources including:,_Texas
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