Vanishing Texas Vernacular Architecture

Posts tagged “Draw


In its heyday sixty years ago in the late 1940s, Draw, Texas was a bustling, if not exactly thriving, little village of perhaps 200 people.  It boasted two general stores, a blacksmith shop, one or two cafes (depending on the season of the year), a cotton gin, a small lumberyard, a Methodist church, a large six-room redbrick schoolhouse with an auditorium/gymnasium, and at least a dozen proper residential buildings, along with various lesser dwellings — railroad boxcars and a tin shanty or two — that housed gin workers and itinerants.  Both general stores also doubled as gas stations and carried a stock of hardware goods, livestock feed, and small farm implements.  To one was attached an ice house, for the summertime storage (but not manufacture) of block ice, which was transported from the ice plant in Tahoka.  Later a second gin was built, adjacent to the first and operated by the same company, and in the fall ginning sometimes went on twenty-four hours a day for several months, from September until December.  In those years of bumper cotton crops in the late 1940s, one or another itinerant tent movie operations appeared at the beginning of the harvest season and set up on some lot near the gin, showing old cowboy movies and catering to both locals and the hordes of Mexican-American families who flocked into the community to pick cotton each fall.  Today, Draw is a ghost town. The gins and all the other businesses (and many houses) are gone; perhaps a dozen people live there, mostly in trailers scattered among the ruins.

The earliest evidence of Draw’s existence comes not from contemporaneous records but from the memories of those who, fifty years later, contributed to a history of the Methodist Church there.  As early as 1901, there existed a small building used as a school house and located some one and a half miles northwest of the present location of Draw.  About 1904, this building was moved to a site three and a half miles northeast of present Draw and became known as “Moore’s Draw School House,” apparently taking its name from a geographical feature and the otherwise unknown settler named Moore (possibly spelled “Mooar”) who was identified with it.  How “Moore’s Draw” was shortened and moved to its present location is unknown; one can only assume that soon afterwards there were the stirrings of some sort of commercial activity at the crossroads of what are now the small highways designated FM (Farm-to-Market) 213 and 1054, and those who used “Moore’s Draw School House” as both school and church decided that was the place to be.  Obviously, the shorter version of the name followed along.

REFERENCES:  “History of Draw, Texas”, Nolan Porterfield; TexasEscapes Online;   Donald R. Abbe, “GRASSLAND, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online ,  Published by the Texas State Historical Association.


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