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City of Colorado City, County of Mitchell, State of Texas, located West of Abilene, 76 miles East of Midland

  • HISTORY OF MITCHELL COUNTY

    Mitchell County was named for Eli and Asa Mitchell of Austin's Colony. It was created on August 21, 1876; along with 53 others carved out of the last remaining slice of Bexar Territory. Prior to its organization in January 1881, it had been attached to Shackelford County, for judicial purposes. At this election, held in the lobby of the Grand Central Hotel, which was described by A.J. Payne as 'central' though by no means 'grand,' 120 votes were cast and Colorado was made the county seat. J.R. Dobbins was elected County Judge; Branch Isabell, County Clerk; A.W. Dunn, County Treasurer; L.A. Henley, County Attorney; W.W. Marshall, County Surveyor; Ira Butler, Inspector for Brands and Hides and R.C. (Dick) Ware, Sheriff, who later was named U.S. Marshall for the western district. He lived his entire life as a peace officer for the West Texas Frontier. A. W. Dunn was appointed the first postmaster. Mr. Dobbins did not serve as County Judge because he moved away. J. F. Boseman was appointed to that office on February 9, 1881. Prior to this organization, order was maintained by a company of Texas Rangers. It was comprised of 30 men under the command of Capt. Sam McMurray and encamped on Lone Wolf Creek, east of the business section.

    The Texas and Pacific Railroad reached here in 1881. A number of Chinamen were employed in building the right of way. They found the work quite strenuous and quit, then started hand laundries in towns along the way. Long before the railroad reached here, Brown and Kelley had a cow camp at the mouth of Cottonwood Creek, south of town. Choctaw Kelley had a dug-out on Lone Wolf on the site of Colorado. Near by was a frontier store of R.S. McClintock, which was built of willow poles covered with buffalo hides, having the hair on the outside. This store operated principally for buffalo hunters.

    The first hotel was the Grand Central, the second was called the Pacific House and was on Oak Street, following was the Renderbrook which was on Walnut Street, then the Hamilton House. The St. James Hotel was on Walnut and 2nd Streets. It was built under the leadership of Winfield Scott, who organized the corporation to build this modern hotel. It served the community until it was destroyed by fire. However, hotels were never a problem in the early day, as most people carried their 'hot-rolls' (bed rolls) with them and ate canned goods and crackers. They went to bed when they pleased.

    Back through the years, Colorado has had a number of euphonious titles such as:'Dodge City of West Texas', also referred to as the 'Queen of the West', the 'Mother City of West Texas' and another being 'Colorado City' for a great many years.

    The Reverend O.F. Rogers preached the first religious sermon, which was in a saloon. He had arrived in a covered wagon on February 19, 1881. The first Sunday school and Presbyterian Church were started in April of 1881, with eleven charter members. The Methodist Church began in 1882, and the Baptist Church started in October 1882.

    A group of eight people met at Mrs. Horner's home on the southwest corner of Elm and 3rd Streets to organize the Episcopal Church in 1883. The cornerstone for it's building at Locust and 3rd Streets was laid in March 1885. The first Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) started in 1888 on Chestnut Street, about where the Legion Hut is located now. Later they moved to the southwest corner of 2nd and Chestnut Streets and are now (1965) located at the corner of Elm and 4th Streets. A Woman's Prayer Meeting, which was organized in 1885, met each Tuesday afternoon for at least 40 years. Mmes. Riordan, Sherwin, Carlisle and Van Tuyl to name just a few of these women.

    The first school was started in September of 1881, it's construction being part dug-out and tent. It was located southeast of the business section on the bank of the river. This school was attended by children from the following families: Nix, Mills, Rogers, Miller, Riordan and DeLaney, along with others. The next school building was constructed of brick, had two stories and was located at 5th and Locust Streets. After a storm, the top floor was ripped off, but the building was used for many years. Later it was used as a music studio and home of Thomas J. Dawes, who came from England. He married Eleanor Van Tuyl, the daughter of Ben Van Tuyl. For many years, some of the descendants of Judge W.B. Crockett's family have made their home at this site. The next school was located between Cedar and Hickory Streets on 3rd. It was known as the Coleman School, to honor Dr. P.C. Coleman. Several schools were built at later dates.

    In 1880, A.W. Dunn had lumber hauled in from Coleman for a store and put up a building 25 feet x 60 feet - thus was the first merchant here. Mr. Dunn was also named Postmaster when the Department in Washington recognized the new town. He also built a home, said to be the first house above the ground, on the northeast corner of the intersection of Chestnut and East 4th Streets. This site is now the home of Mrs. Douglas Burns. Mr. Dunn had cattle in Fisher County, but made his home here. Coming here in 1876, he took the lead in many things and may well be said to have been 'The Father of Colorado.' To Dunn may also go credit for the first 'bill-board' advertising in West Texas. As was reported by an early day traveler who was en route here with a team almost worn out. They despaired of ever reaching their objective, when they came to a fork in the road. They found an enormous bleached buffalo skull, on which had been inscribed '14 miles to Dunn's Store, by Heck'.

    Fewer than a dozen inhabitants were in the county before the coming of the railroad in 1881. Business lots on Oak Street sold by the front door, which led from the railroad station, located at the time on Oak Street, and running north past the courthouse. This courthouse was built on the wrong lot, by mistake, so in two years it was torn down and the second one built where the third and present one now stands without clocks.

    In 1884, the Opera House was on the third floor of the opera block, at the corner of 2nd and Elm Streets. A storm, years later, damaged the roof, etc. so that floor was torn away. In 1884, the occupation tax showed the town had 7 billiard parlors, 75 mercantile establishments, 2 photographers, 3 land agents, 4 theaters, 12 lawyers, 1 broker, 7 peddlers, 2 lightning-rod mercantile establishments, 17 doctors and 1 dentist.

  • DEMOGRAPHICS

    Population

    Year 2014 (est.) 2010 Census 2000 Census
    City 4,239 4,146 4,281
    County 9,505 9,403 9,698

    City Government

    Type Home Rule
    Number on Council 7
    Municipal Police 6
    Paid Firefighters 4
    Volunteer Firefighters 30
    City Zoning Body Yes
    Master Plan Yes

    Wage Data

    Occupation Title Entry-Level Wage ($/hr)
    Production Classifications Low High
    Aircraft Mechanic 7.25 8.00
    Assmebler, General 5.15 7.48
    Electrician 5.15 15.89
    Electronics Assembler 5.15 5.15
    Forklift Operator 5.15 9.07
    Janitor, any industry 5.15 8.65
    Laborer, General 5.15 15.20
    Machinist/Related Occup. 5.50 10.91
    Maintenance, General 5.15 12.00
    Mechanic (Maintenance) 5.15 10.33
    Molding Machine Operator 5.40 5.40
    Sewing Machine (Garment) 5.15 5.15
    Sheet Metal Worker 6.00 12.50
    Truck Driver, Lt., any ind. 5.15 7.50
    Warehouse Worker 5.15 12.42
    Welder, Production 5.15 21.00

    Office, Clerical, & Technical Low High
    Accountant/Auditor 6.50 14.71
    Computer Operator 5.00 12.09
    Computer Programmer 11.94 17.90
    Customer Service Rep. 5.15 6.50
    Electronic Technician 5.15 8.65
    General Office Clerk 5.15 9.74
    Key Data Entry Oper. 5.15 9.74
    Secretarial 5.15 12.90
    Shipping & Rec. Clerk 5.15 7.50
    Telemarketing 5.15 6.00

    Taxation

    Tax Rate (per $100 Assessed Value)
    Mitchell County $0.441300
    Colorado City City $0.655214
    Colorado City ISD $1.608000
    Lone Wolf Water $0.022240
    Mitchell Hospital $0.204999
    Total $2.931753

    Municipal Sales Tax 1.500%
    State Sales Tax Rate 6.250%
    Economic Development Tax
    Mitchell County ED Sales Tax
    0.500%
    Other Sales Taxes 0.000%
    Total 8.250%

    Incentives

    Tax Abatement Yes, Available
    Enterprise Zone Yes
    Industrial Foundation No
    Foreign Trade Zone No
    Reinvestment Zone Yes
    Freeport Exemption No
    Other Incentives Yes
    Utility tap fees waived

    Utilities

    Electric Energy Delivery Oncor Electric Delivery
    Reliability 99.947328
    Transmission Voltage 69 KV, 138 KV, 345 KV
    Service Voltage 120/208, 120/240, 240/480, 277/480

    Natural Gas Atmos Energy
    BTU Content Per Cubic Foot 1,050

    Water Supplier City of Colorado City
    Source Well field-10,000,000 gallons
    Max. Daily Sys. Capacity 5,000,000 gallons
    Max. Daily Use to Date 2,000,000 gallons
    Pressure on Mains 50-85 psi
    Storage Capacity 3,200,000 gallons
    Size of Mains 4-16"
    System Looped Yes
    Projects Under Construction Overhead storage refurbishment

    Sewer System
    Treatment Plan Types Pond system & irrigation;
    zero discharge
    Maximum Capacity 2,500,000 gallons
    Max. Daily Use to Date 600,000 gallons
    Projects Under Construction Sewer collection lines

    Telephone Service
    SBC
    Digital Available Yes
    Analog Available Yes
    Electromechanical Yes
    Make and Model  
    Software Level  
    Fiber Optics Yes
    Switched 56 Kbps Yes
    High Capacity Digital (T-1) Yes
    Digital Data Service No
    911 Available Yes
    Other Network Services
    All SBC options  

    Major Area Employers

    Employer Industry No. of Employees
    TDCJ/80 John Wallace Unit State Prison 284
    TDCJ/Ware State Jail State Jail 239
    Colorado City ISD Education 206
    Mitchell County Hospital
    & Nursing Home
    Healthcare 205
    Mitchell County County Road Maintenance 75
    Kristi Lee Manor Nursing Home 70
    Fuller Foods Grocery Store 65
    Luminant Utility 58
    City of Colorado City Municipal 52
    TDCJ/Prison Medical Group Medical 38
    TDCJ/Windham School Education (prison) 30
    Lone Wolfe Resources Environmental
    Remediation
    30
    City National Bank Banking 23
    Alco Discount Retail 18
    T&T Trucking Oil Field Trucking 12

  • TRANSPORTATION

    Air Service

    Abilene Regional
    Runway Length 7,202'
    Runway Service Asphalt
    Lighted Yes
    Fuel Yes
    Instrument Landing System Yes
    Colorado City
    Runway Length 6,000'
    Runway Service Asphalt
    Lighted Yes
    Fuel Yes
    Instrument Landing System Yes
    Midland International
    Runway Length 9,501'
    Runway Service Asphalt
    Lighted Yes
    Fuel Yes
    Instrument Landing System Yes

    Airports Within One Hour
    International Midland International
    Regional Abilene Regional
    Municipal Colorado City

    Rail Service Providers

    Union Pacific Railroad

    Freight Carriers

    Roadway Freight Lines

  • COMMUNITY INFORMATION

    Climate

    Annual Average Temperature 64.0 F
    Annual Average High Temperature 97.0 F
    Annual Average Low Temperature 30.0 F
    Annual Average Precipitation 20.0"
    Annual Average Snowfall 2.0"
    Elevation 1,932.0'

    Health

    Total Hospital Beds in City 30
    Total Doctors (Medical) in City 3

    Media

    Daily Papers 0
    Weekly Papers 1
    Local TV Yes
    Cable TV Available Yes

    Recreation

    Parks 4
    Area Lakes 2
    Country Clubs 1
    Health Centers 2
    Public Golf Courses 1
    Theaters 1
    Tennis Courts 2
    Bed & Breakfast Facilities 0
    Hotel & Motel Rooms 134
    Libraries 1
    Other
    C-City Opry  

    Houses of Worship

    23

    Finance

    Big Spring Credit Union-Colorado City Branch
    City National Bank
    First National Bank

    Attractions

    Lake Colorado City State Park
    Lake Champion
    Wolf Creek Golf Links
    Antique District
    Historical Areas
    Sports Complex
    (Activities include soccer, baseball, basketball, track & volleyball)
    Main Street City
    Railhead Trade Days
    Annual Downtown Festival - Frontier Junktique Jamboree

    Education

    Colorado City (2009)
      Number of Schools Total Enrollment
    Elementary 2 550
    Middle/Jr High 1 220
    High School 1 261
    Wallace School 1 33

    Area Colleges & Universities
    Howard County Junior College - Big Spring
    Texas State Technical College - Sweetwater
    Western Texas College - Snyder
    Distance Learning Labs available at CISD

    Vocational Program Available Yes
    State Industrial Job Training Available Yes
  • HISTORICAL MARKERS

    BUILDING MEDALLIONS

    • Mitchell County Courthouse
    • First United Methodist Church
    • First State Bank, Loraine
    • First Baptist Church, Loraine
    • First Baptist Church, Colorado City
    • F. M. Burns Home, 304 East 4th St.
    • D. N. Arnett Home, 605 Chestnut Street
    • All Saints Episcopal Church
    • Scott-Majors Home, 425 Chestnut Street
    • Martin Dies Birthplace, 305 Hickory Street
    • Dorn Chapel

    SUBJECT MARKERS

    • Mitchell County Organization, Courthouse
    • Founding of Colorado City, Courthouse
    • T & P Railroad, First and Elm Streets
    • Ruddick Park
    • Presbyterian Church
    • Colorado Opera House
    • Dr. Preston C. Coleman, Museum
    • Valley View School
    • W. A. Crowder, Railroad Depots
    • Plainview Baptist Church

    SITE MARKERS

    • Buffalo Trails Marker, Museum
    • Comanche Indian Village, Ruddick Park
    • Cuthbert, Texas
    • First Westbrook School and Church
    • Conaway School
    • Permian Basin Discovery Well
    • Seven Wells Marker, South Highway 208
    • P. C. Coleman Ranch
    • Wulfjen Ranch
    • Spade Ranch
    • Lone Wolf Mountain
    • Colorado City Standpipe
    • Renderbrook-Spade Ranch Gate

    GRAVE MARKERS

    • R. C. Ware, (Dick) Colorado City Cemetery
    • W. M. Green, Colorado City Cemetery
    • Y. D. McMurry, Colorado City Cemetery
    • Hankley (Teeville) Cemetery
    • '80' John Wallace, South of Loraine