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Littlefield, Texas
—  City  —
Lamb County Veterans Memorial in Littlefield
Motto: Where BIG things happen!
Location of Littlefield, Texas
Coordinates: 33°55′10″N 102°19′58″W / 33.91944°N 102.33278°W / 33.91944; -102.33278
Country United States
State Texas
County Lamb
Area
 - Total 6.0 sq mi (15.5 km2)
 - Land 6.0 sq mi (15.5 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 3,556 ft (1,084 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 6,507
 - Density 1,085.4/sq mi (419.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 79339
Area code(s) 806
FIPS code 48-43024[1]
GNIS feature ID 1361517[2]
Website www.littlefieldtexas.org

Littlefield is a city in and the county seat of Lamb County, Texas, United States.[3] The population was 6,507 at the 2000 census. It is located in a significant cotton growing region, northwest of Lubbock on the Llano Estacado just south of the beginning of the Texas Panhandle. Littlefield has a large denim manufacturing plant operated by American Cotton Growers.

Littlefield is named for George W. Littlefield (1842–1920), a Mississippi native, Confederate States of America officer, rancher, banker, and benefactor of the University of Texas at Austin.

Littlefield houses the Bill Clayton Detention Center, a 310-bed medium-security facility, which is named for the former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, who resided in Springlake.

Near Littlefield is the Triple Arrow Ranch, known for its historical remnants, owned by Lamb County Commissioner's Court Judge and Mrs. William A. Thompson, Jr.

Contents

Geography and Climate

Littlefield is located at 33°55′10″N 102°19′58″W / 33.91944°N 102.33278°W / 33.91944; -102.33278 (33.919561, -102.332660)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.0 square miles (15.5 km²). None of the area is covered with water.

Much like nearby Lubbock, Littlefield has a mild, semi-arid climate. On average, Littlefield receives 18 inches of precipitation per year.[5] Summers in Littlefield are hot, with high temperatures in the 90s °F (32 - 37 °C) and dropping into the 60s °F (15 - 20 °C) at nights. The highest recorded temperature was 112 °F (44 °C) in 1994.[5] Winter days in Littlefield are typically sunny and relatively mild in the mid 50s °F (13 °C), but nights are cold with temperatures dipping to the mid 20s °F (-4 °C) . The lowest recorded temperature was -6 °F (-21 °C) in 1979.[5]

Economy

The economy of Littlefield is diverse but traditionally depends on cotton. It was formerly the home of the Vertical Turbine Specialists, which since relocated to Lubbock [6]. The city is also headquarters to Lowe's Market [7], a grocery store chain in the American Southwest. In August 2008, Littlefield was selected as the new location for a biodiesel plant.

Tourism

Littlefield is home to the world's tallest windmill.

Bull Lake is located about five miles west of town.

Littlefield is also the hometown of world famous Singer-Songwriter Waylon Jennings.[8]

Unsolved murder case

On October 26, 1943, Littlefield was shocked by the murder of physician Roy Hunt and his wife, the former Mae Frank. Hunt, a Lubbock native, graduated from the University of Texas Medical School at Galveston and opened the Littlefield Clinic in 1937. While Dr. Hunt died of a gunshot wound, Mrs. Hunt was bludgeoned to death by a gun. Their bodies, bound together, were found in bed by the couple's five-year-old daughter, who ran screaming to neighbors for help. An estimated 1,500 mourners attended the funerals in the First Methodist Church of Littlefield, which seated only 300. Some 1,200 hence stood outside the overflowing church to pay respects. A $15,000 reward was offered, and Governor Coke R. Stevenson took a personal interest in the case.[9]

An investigation revealed that Dr. Hunt had also been shot twice in May 1942 by Dr. W.R. Newton, a former medical school classmate who claimed that Hunt was showing an interest in Newton's wife, Ruth. Another suspect, Jim Clyde Thomas, was gunned down in a personal disagreement on August 22, 1951, in Durant, Oklahoma. The murders, called the "most heinous on the South Texas Plains", hence remain unsolved. The Hunts are interred at the City of Lubbock Cemetery. Their two young daughters were reared by Mrs. Hunt's sister.[9][10]

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 6,507 people, 2,390 households, and 1,699 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,085.4 people per square mile (419.4/km²). There were 2,784 housing units at an average density of 464.4/sq mi (179.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.10% White, 5.38% African American, 0.69% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 14.62% from other races, and 2.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 45.83% of the population.

There were 2,390 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.9% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.22.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,271, and the median income for a family was $29,842. Males had a median income of $25,978 versus $20,160 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,018. About 18.8% of families and 20.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.5% of those under age 18 and 15.6% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

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By Air

  • Littlefield is served by Lubbock International Airport, which is in Lubbock, Texas, and Littlefield Municipal Airport, a general aviation airport which can accommodate small jets, located roughly two miles outside of the Littlefield city limits.

Lubbock International Airport is served by:

By Car

Education

The City of Littlefield is served by the Littlefield Independent School District. The City of Littlefield is also served by an off branch of South Plains College.

Notable Events

The most westerly piece of debris (a Thermal Protection System tile) from the Feb 1, 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was found in a field here.

Notable residents and natives

Ralph Elmer Maurer (November 15, 1907—February 23, 2007) was a physician and surgeon, with a speciality in orthopedics, who practiced in Littlefield from 1945 until his retirement in 1993. Maurer was born in Zboriv, now part of the Ukraine, to a businessman-landowning father. The senior Maurer, concerned about political turmoil in the Ukraine, immigrated alone to the United States in 1913. He intended to bring his family to the United States the next year, but World War I broke out in Europe, and the Mauer family could not join the elder Maurer, who lived in New York City until 1920.[11]

Maurer's boyhood years corresponded with the Great War. In late 1915, German and Austrian armies forced the Russian army to withdraw to a line near Zboriv. Maurer remembered having seen the Russians dig defensive trenches through his family's land. He and his brother played in the trenches and once constructed a slingshot and hurled rocks at Russian soldiers.A fter the war, the family left by wagon for the nearest railroad line, having reached Rotterdam in the Netherlands, where they boarded a steamship and arrived in New York City in August 1920 for an emotional reunion with the father.[11]

Maurer was then twelve years of age and spoke no English. He learned the language quickly in school and attended DeWitt Clinton High School, named for the former New York governor and father of the Erie Canal. He then attended New York University and in 1937 earned his M.D. degree from the University of Berne in Switzerland. Maurer, who was of Austro-Hungarian ethnicity, was inducted as a captain into the United States Army Medical Service and participated in the North African Campaign, the invasion of Italy, and the battle of Anzio. His military tenure introduced him to new orthopedic techniques learned from a German surgeon in a captured field hospital. He applied this knowledge to improving the surgical care of Allied soldiers and his subsequent patients in Littlefield. On leaving the military, Maurer accepted a position at the Payne-Shotwell Hospital. He recalled having arrived in Littlefield on the last day of 1945 during a blinding sandstorm.[11]

Maurer was married to the former Ethel Virginia Tweedy of Lynchburg, Virginia. He died of a sudden illness at the age of ninety-nine. In addition to his wife, he was survived by two sons and one daughter. Another son, Dr. Ralph Gerald Maurer (1943–2006) preceded him in death by nine months. Maurer was Presbyterian. He was cremated.[11]

Flannery Lamar Newton (January 14, 1914—June 26, 2009) was a Littlefield businessman and civic leader who was born in Rule in Haskell County and reared near Anton in Hockley County. From 1933-1940, he was an independent poultry processor. Thereafter, he was a machinist at the former Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock. From 1945-1995, he and his wife, Verna Mae "Mary" Newton, owned the State Farm Insurance agency in Littlefield, In 1951, Newton was recognized for having sold the most automobile policies in a single day in the history of State Farm. The couple also operated Newton's Ladies' Apparel from 1968-1981. Newton was a member of the Lion's Club for sixty-five years. He was active in the First United Methodist Church. He also served on the Littlefeld School Board. In addition to his wife, he was survived by a son, Alan Newton of Littlefield. Another son, Roger Newton, died in 2003. Interment was at the Anton Cemetery.[12]

James Edwin Shotwell (August 14, 1920 - August 2008) was a Littlefield dentist, a captain in the United States Air Force, and a former member of the Littlefield City Council. A native of Jacksonville, Texas, and a graduate of the Loyola University Dental School in New Orleans, he was an active member of Rotary International and the United Methodist Church. Shotwell is interred at Resthaven Cemetery in Lubbock.[13]

References

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  5. ^ a b c "Monthly Averages for Littlefield, TX". The Weather Channel. http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/USTX0777.  
  6. ^ "Vertical Turbine Specialists about page". Vertical Turbine Specialists. http://vtspumps.com/body_aboutus.htm.  
  7. ^ "Lowe's Market about page". Lowe's Market. http://www.lowesmarket.com/aboutus.php.  
  8. ^ Jennings, Waylon; Lenny Kaye (September 1996). Waylon Jennings: An Autobiography. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 9780446518659.  
  9. ^ a b Christena Stephens of Sundown, Texas, "The Hunt Murders in Littlefield, Texas, 1943", Annual meeting, West Texas Historical Association, Lubbock, Texas, April 3, 2009; The paper will be published under the title "Double Murder in a Small West Texas Town" in the West Texas Historical Association Year Book.
  10. ^ Christena Stephens is also writing a book on the Hunt murders.
  11. ^ a b c d Obituary of Ralph E. Maurer, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, February 25, 2007
  12. ^ "Obituary of Flannery L. Newton". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. http://lubbockonline.com/stories/070109/obi_457036103.shtml. Retrieved July 1, 2009.  
  13. ^ http://lubbockonline.com/stories/081808/obi_319880553.shtml

External links


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