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Borger, at the junction of State highways, andin south central Hutchinson County, was established by and named for A. Ace Borger, who was reputed throughout Oklahoma and Texas to be a shrewd town promoter. In Marchafter the discovery of oil in the vicinity, Borger and his partner, attorney John R. Miller, purchased a acre townsite near the Canadian River in the southern part of the county.
Within ninety days of its founding, sensational advertising and the lure of "black gold" brought over 45, men and women to the new boomtown. In October the charter incorporating the city of Borger was adopted, and Miller was elected mayor.
By that time the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway had completed a spur line to Borger, a post office had opened, and a school district had been established. Big Heart Williams set up the first hamburger stand in Borger on the three-mile-long Main Street, where a hotel and a jail had also been erected.
Telephone service and steam-generated electricity were available by the end of Before wells were drilled, drinking water was provided in tank wagons. The ranchers John R. Weatherly and James A. Whittenburg, hoping to cash in on the boom, established two rival townsites, Isom and Dixon Creek, next to that of Borger. Later these were incorporated into the Borger city limits, as was the oil camp of al Hill to the northeast. Within a matter of monthsoilmen, prospectors, roughnecks, panhandlers, fortune seekers, card sharks, bootleggers, prostitutes, and dope peddlers descended on Borger. Before long the town government was firmly in the hands of an organized crime syndicate led by Mayor Miller's shady associate, "Two-Gun Dick" Herwig.
The center of this vice was Dixon now Tenth Street, notorious for its brothels, dance halls, gambling dens, slot machines, and speakeasies. Murder and robbery became commonplace. Illegal moonshine stills and home breweries flourished with the blessings of Herwig and his henchmen, including W J. Shine Popejoy, the king of the Texas bootleggers.
Acting on petitions and investigative reports, in the spring of Governor Daniel J. Hickman to remedy the situation. Although the rangers proved a stabilizing force and compelled many undesirables to leave town, Borger's wave of crime and violence continued intermittently into the s and climaxed with the murder of District Attorney John A. Holmes by an unknown assassin on September 18, This episode prompted Moody to impose martial law for a month and send state troops to help local authorities rid the town of the lawless element. This goal was eventually achieved, but not before Ace Borger was shot to death by his longtime enemy Arthur Huey on August 31, The Great Depression also helped to propel Borger from one era into another by the late s.
Although Phillips Petroleum and other companies profited from the fields around Borger, prices in oil and gas dropped, ending the boom. With the aid of the Work Projects Administration, streets were improved, and the boom shacks were replaced with permanent buildings.
During World War II synthetic rubber and other petroleum products became important in the Borger area. The Hutchinson County Airport was constructed north of town in By the s Borger was one of the largest centers for oil, carbon black, and petrochemical production and supplies in the state. In Borger was deated an All-American city. The advent of Lake Meredith also added to the town's economy. The population was listed at 14, in17, in20, in14, inand 15, in By Borger had businesses, including several manufacturers. In the population was 15, Borger remains an important shipping point for agricultural produce as well as for the petroleum products manufactured there.
The community supports eight schools, fifty churches, two banks, a radio stations, twenty-four city parks, a library, a hospital, and Frank Phillips College, a junior college. The Hutchinson County Museum, opened inhouses artifacts of the county's pioneer past. Borger is especially noted for its scale models of the buildings at Adobe Walls at the time of the battle. Gordon Frost and John H.
John H. White, Borger, Texas ? In. Home Visitors Borger History. Borger History. Allen Anderson.
Chamber of Commerce. Hutchinson County Historical Museum. Johnson Park Youth Center Complex. Lake Meredith National Recreation Area. Park Rental Facilities. Johnson Park Disk Golf Course.
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