Western Trips

Western Trips

Monday, August 4, 2014

Post Texas / The Building of a Model Town

historic texas buildings
Old hotel on the left built by C.W. Post
Post Texas
is located south of Lubbock Texas at the intersection of U.S. Hwys 380 & 84. The story about how Post Texas came to be is quite a unique one. The town was founded in 1907 as Post City, a project taken on by C. W. Post, the American industrialist and cereal maker. Post Texas is located on the edge of the caprock escarpment of the Llano Estacado, thirty miles south of Lubbock. 

Post made the decision to move to west Texas on the advice of his physician. Charles William Post was suffering from general poor health and he and his family's move from the midwest to the drier west Texas climate was hoped to provide relief from his ailments.

Innovative Ideas and C.W. Post

C.W. Post was not an ordinary gentleman. In fact, he was known to be peculiar. He was known to have  large mood swings and spent time in and out of various sanitariums.It was when C.W. Post spent some time in a Grand Rapids, Michigan sanitarium that he met up with a Dr. Kellogg who years later would become a chief competitor of Post cereals.

The Building of a Model Town

C.W. Post's project was to build a model town. You could call it a utopian venture. It was a project of building a new town from scratch and colonizing it. Post, who had earned a fortune as a cereal manufacturer after being an agricultural equipment inventor,, purchased 200,000 acres in west Texas and turned over construction duties to his Double U Company.

Building the model town of Post City included planting trees on all streets along with prohibiting alcohol and brothels. Within the first few years the construction included building houses, a church, a department store, a school, a hotel and a bank. Surrounding homes and ranches were either sold or leased to settlers.

Garza County Texas was founded in 1876 but went without county government for thirty years. The town of Post was organized on July 8, 1907, and named for the pioneer Garza family. Post City sprang up the same year as the county's organization and became the county seat.

Post was designated an official Texas Main Street City in 1987 by the Texas Historical Commission and is located just 36 miles from Lubbock, Texas.

hotel garza
Hotel Garza B & B
C.W. Post The Rainmaker

West Texas can be problematic when it comes to rainfall. Post, who had the reputation as a somewhat far out thinker, thought he could make the west Texas clouds pour out rain. Having heard the story reported from American Civil War veterans that intense cannon fire caused rain,decided to have a try. Post's first rain experiment was to attache dynamite to a kite and detonate the explosives at a certain height. This was afterwards determined much too dangerous.

The second experiment to bring rain consisted of placing bundles of dynamite about fifty feet apart on the high parts of the Caprock and set off at intervals.

The third experiment actually was said by some to have obtained good results. This was blasting away with 24,000 lbs of dynamite. The result was a rainfall. Post's experiment as a rainmaker lasted until 1913, about one year before his death. He spent a fortune on these experiments and claimed that he directly caused seven different rainfall events. Those who doubted the success of these rainmaking experiments pointed out that they occurred when storms naturally developed in that part of Texas. Perhaps C.W. Post really did produce rain.

post texas history
Things to See and Do in Post Texas

The Garza County Historical Museum

The Garza County Historical Museum is in the building that C.W. Post constructed as the Post Sanitarium in 1911.  The address is 119 North Ave. N.Declared a Texas Historical Landmark in 1964, the building became the Mason Memorial Building and was given to the county in 1967.

Hotel Garza Bed & Breakfast

This bed and breakfast located in the heart of Post will take you back to the to the early 1900's. This fine bed and breakfast hotel offers first class overnight accommodations, scrumptious home cooking every morning and true West Texas hospitality. The address is 302 East Main Street.

You may also enjoy the Western Trips articles on the links below...

An Historic Harvey House B & B in Slaton Texas

A Visit to the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock Texas

The West Texas Town and the White Buffalo

Two good reads regarding C.W. Post include the pamphlet...Dr. J. H. Kellogg And C. W. Post by author Elbert Hubbard and Post City, Texas: C.W. Post's Colonizing Activities in West Texas by authors Charles Dudley Eaves and C. Alan Hutchinson.

Algerita Arts Center Building

1920's texas
Scene in Post Texas from the 1920's
The Algerita Arts Center is the home of Visual Arts in Post. The building is on the National Register of Historic Buildings. This structure  was built in 1907 by founder C. W. Post as a hotel to accommodate prospective customers of farms, business and city properties. The first floor of the building shown on in the photo at the top of this article now houses a gallery for local and regional art and is run by the Post Art Guild. The address is 131 East Main Street.

If you're traveling to West Texas and particularly in the Lubbock area, you'll certainly want to add a stop at Post Texas to your vacation planner. Post Texas has a rich history and quite a unique one. Visit the Garza County Historical Museum and view some of the remaining structures from the days that C.W. Post built his model town. This is another one of the unique travel stops to enjoy while touring the Lone Star State. 

the first floor is now home to a gallery for local and regional art operated by teh Post Art Guild - See more at: http://texasplainstrail.com/plan-your-adventure/historic-sites-and-cities/sites/algerita-art-center#sthash.xcwT3vkr.dpufThe OS Ranch MuseumThe OS Ranch Foundation was created by Giles C. McCrary and family. The museum was built to house the art and artifact collection they have gathered around the world. The gallery is located in the room that was designed as the meeting room for the community in the building C.W. Post built in 1911 to house the offices of his Land and Cattle Company.  The address is 127 East Main Street.
(Article and photos copyright 2014 Western Trips. Photo of 1920's Post Texas courtesy of Texas Coop Power Magazine)

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