NAME: Mobeetie or Hide Town
COUNTY: Wheeler
CLIMATE: Warm winter, hot summer
Winter, spring, fall
COMMENTS: A few current residents.
REMAINS: A stone jail and a few abandoned buildings.
There are actually two towns named Mobeetie-the Old and the New. Old Mobeetie was the first town in the Texas Panhandle and came into being as a supply base for buffalo hunters that had moved down from Kansas in 1874. The settlement did not have an official name but was referred to as Hide Town, a name that came from the buffalo hides brought into town by the hunters. The need came for a post office and the name Sweetwater was submitted from the name of the creek that flowed through the town. The name was rejected as Texas already had a town by that name. It occurred to some to ask the local Indians the name of Sweetwater as spoken in their language. The word was Mobeetie and it became the name of the town. In 1875, the U.S. Army built its only major installation in the Panhandle, Fort Elliott, about two miles from Mobeetie. The city fathers decided to move the town closer to the military post to take advantage of the income from the soldiers stationed at the fort. In 1890, the population of Mobeetie was about 400 residents. In that same year, the War Department closed Fort Elliott as no longer needed to protect the settlers in the area. Eight years later, a tornado nearly decimated the town, killing six people and destroying many buildings that were never rebuilt. People began to move away. In 1929, the Santa Fe Railroad built a line that bypassed Old Mobeetie by several miles. Most of the remaining residents moved closer to the rail lines and created the New Mobeetie. Its stone jail and a few abandoned homes mark the Old Mobeetie. SUBMITTED BY: Henry Chenoweth

Courtesy Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas

Old Jail
Courtesy Bobbye and Speedy Drake

Old House
Courtesy Bobbye and Speedy Drake

Old House
Courtesy Bobbye and Speedy Drake

Old Rig
Courtesy Bobbye and Speedy Drake

Old Jail Cell
Courtesy Bobbye and Speedy Drake