DURANGO, TEXAS. Durango is on Farm Road 935 fifteen miles southwest of Marlin in western Falls County. The site was settled under the name West Falls by members of Robertson's colony,qv and a post office called West Falls operated there from 1871 to 1883. According to local lore, the community changed its name to Durango when a drunken cowboy, who had recently returned from Mexico, insisted that he was in Durango, Mexico. Postal records recorded the name change in 1883. By the mid-1880s Durango had a church, a district school, two gristmill-cotton gins, three general stores, several other businesses, and 200 residents. A public school was established in Durango in 1885. In the late 1880s J. T. Hedrick began publishing a weekly newspaper, the Enterprise. During the early 1890s the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway was built through five miles to the east of Durango, and some local residents and businesses moved to be closer to the railroad. Durango suffered a further setback in 1892, when a tornado killed several residents and destroyed a number of houses. The post office was discontinued in 1906, and mail for the community was sent to Lott. Population estimates for Durango remained around 200 for several decades, though the number of businesses decreased. The Durango school was consolidated with the Lott Independent School District in 1949. In the mid-1940s residents were reported to number 150; by the mid-1960s the population had fallen to fifty-four. Only a church and two businesses were shown at Durango on county highway maps in the 1980s. The reported population was still fifty-four in 1990.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Lillian S. St. Romain, Western Falls County, Texas (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1951). Vertical File, Texas Collection, Baylor University.
Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl
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