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Shamrock, Texas
—  City  —
Location in the state of Texas
Coordinates: 35°13′2″N 100°14′50″W / 35.21722°N 100.24722°W / 35.21722; -100.24722
Country United States
State Texas
County Wheeler
First Settled 1890
Incorporated 1911
 - Total 2.1 sq mi (5.4 km2)
 - Land 2.1 sq mi (5.4 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 2,343 ft (714 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 2,029
 - Density 979.7/sq mi (378.3/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 79079
Area code(s) 806
FIPS code 48-67160[1]
GNIS feature ID 1368050[2]

Shamrock is a city in Wheeler County, Texas, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 2,029. The city is located in the eastern portion of the Texas Panhandle centered along the crossroads of Interstate 40 and U.S. Route 83. It is 110 miles (180 km) east of Amarillo, 188 miles (303 km) west of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and 291 miles (468 km) north-west of Dallas.[3]



Located in south central Wheeler County, Shamrock was the largest town in the county in the late 1800s. It was given its name by an Irish immigrant, George Nickel, who wanted to open a post office in the town in 1890. Though his post office was never opened, Mary Jones ran her own post office, also with the name Shamrock, for a short time. In 1902 the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway set up a station in the town, calling it "Wheeler" like the county, but changing it to the original name of Shamrock in 1903 which prompted the reopening of the Shamrock Post office. By 1907, the town was competing with the towns of Story and Benonine as trade centers.[4]

The town continued its growth as other businesses moved into the city, including the county newspaper, which moved from Story and renamed itself from the Wheeler County Texan to the Shamrock Texan, several banks, and Shamrock Cotton Oil Mill. In 1911, E. L. Woodley became the mayor of the newly incorporated city. In 1926, the discovery of oil and the operation of natural gas wells by Shamrock Gas Company helped spur the city's continuing growth. A decline in the oil industry caused the population to drop in the 1940s, but it rebounded in the next decade with the improvement of Route 66. By the 1980s, the town was home to an established modern school system, a chemical plant, oil and gas processing plants, and a hospital.[4]

At its peak, in 1930, Shamrock had a population of 3,778. Despite some rebounds, the city population continues to fluctuate, hovering in the low 2000s. According to the 2000 census, the city population has dropped to its lowest recorded point with 2,029 residents.[4]

Geography and climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.4 km²), all of it land.

Weather data for Shamrock, Texas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average high °F (°C) 48
Average low °F (°C) 23
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.56
Source: [5] 2008-04-14


As of the census of 2000, there were 2,029 people, 852 households, and 550 families residing in the city.[1] The population density was 979.7 people per square mile (378.5/km²). There were 1,072 housing units at an average density of 517.6/sq mi (200.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.26% White, 4.83% African American, 1.38% Native American, 0.99% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 5.91% from other races, and 1.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.41% of the population.

There were 852 households out of which 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 22.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,776, and the median income for a family was $33,542. Males had a median income of $24,688 versus $16,944 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,724. About 22.7% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.7% of those under age 18 and 20.0% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture


U-Drop Inn

In 1936, the U-Drop Inn was built at the corner of the U.S. Route 83 and the now historic Route 66.[6] At the time of opening, the U-Drop was the only café within 100 miles (160 km) of Shamrock, enjoying brisk business and becoming a successful establishment.[7] Once considered a beautiful and impressive example of Route 66 architecture in Texas, the U-Drop Inn fell into disrepair with the decommissioning of Route 66.[8][9] Referred to as "one of the most impressive examples" of Route 66 architecture by the Texas Historical Commission,[10] the U-Drop Inn was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.[11] In May 1999, the First National Bank of Shamrock purchased the then closed U-Drop Inn and gave it to the city of Shamrock.[8][12] With a $1.7 million federal grant, the city was able to hire a firm specializing in historical renovation to restore the building to its original glory and adapt it into a museum, visitors' center, gift shop, and the city's chamber of commerce.[8][13][14] The revived U-Drop Inn was featured in the 2006 animated film Cars as the inspiration for the fictional Ramone's body shop.[15]


The City of Shamrock is served by the Shamrock Independent School District.


Major highways


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ "Shamrock, Texas Detailed Profile". Retrieved 2008-03-21.  
  4. ^ a b c Anderson, H. Allen (2008-01-18). "Shamrock, TX". Handbook of Texas (Online Edition). Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 2008-03-21.  
  5. ^ "Monthly Averages for Shamrock, TX". Retrieved 2008-04-14.  
  6. ^ Witzel, Michael (2003-04-28). "Chapter 2: Filling Circumstances: Highway Pump and Circumstance". Route 66 Remembered. Osceola, Wisconsin: Motorbooks International. pp. 79. ISBN 0-760-31498-5. OCLC 51234105.  
  7. ^ Witzel, Russel Olsen (2004-05-01). "Texas". Route 66, Lost & Found: Ruins and Relics Revisited. Osceola, Wisconsin: Motorbooks International. pp. 84. ISBN 0-760-31854-9. OCLC 55482301.  
  8. ^ a b c Degrood, Thomas J. (July/August 2005). "Roadside Renewal". Texas Architect (Texas Society of Architects) 55 (4): 42–43.  
  9. ^ Juozapavicius, Justin (2007-05-02). "Route 66 Motels an Endangered Species". ABC News. Retrieved 2008-03-22.  
  10. ^ Rhodes, Andy (2004). "The Mother Road: Nostalgia Drives Visitors to Experience Route 66 in the Texas Panhandle" (pdf). The Medallion (Texas Historical Commission) March–April 2004: 10–13. Retrieved 2008-03-22.  
  11. ^ "Texas - Wheeler County". National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 2008-03-22.  
  12. ^ "Shamrock celebrates St. Patrick's Day in the Panhandle". Dallas Morning News. 2008-03-04. Retrieved 2008-03-22.  
  13. ^ "Drive 66 (East): Old Route 66 Association of Texas". Mock Turtle Press and Old Route 66 Association of Texas. Retrieved 2008-03-22.  
  14. ^ "Tower Station and U-Drop Inn" (pdf). Architexas. Retrieved 2008-03-22.  
  15. ^ "Shamrock Texas U-Drop Inn". Legends of America. Retrieved 2008-03-22.  

External links


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