Lynn Co. TXGenWeb

Historical Marker

Directions: City Plaza, Highway 76, O'Donnell.

Named for Tom J. O'Donnell, promoter of South Plains Railroads, including 60 miles of Santa Fe Line from Slaton to Lamesa. On this new railroad (important as freight hauler) town of O'Donnell was founded in 1909 by H. E. Baldridge and Charles H. Doak-- two of the organizers and first officials of Lynn County. Doak built a hotel in projected town of O'Donnell in 1909. L. G. Phillips established the first store. On July 4, 1910, a big picnic was held to celebrate arrival of first Santa Fe train. Old "Central" post office (previously on Dee W. Harris Ranch, 5.5 mi. NW) was moved to new town in 1910 and was officially renamed O'Donnell on Feb. 7, 1911. W. R. Standefer was employed to survey townsite in 1911. H. E. Baldridge offered free building lots to churches. A Methodist church was organized in 1911; Church of Christ and Presbyterian churches in 1912; First Baptist in 1914. Town was incorporated in 1923, with W. R. Sanderson as first mayor. School, improved dramatically since its early wooden building, serves a large area. A graduate is actor Dan Blocker ("Hoss" Cartwright). Now a dry land farming center, O'Donnell in 1961 had what was then the largest cotton gin in the world, ginning 21,000 bales of cotton during that year. (1969)