Texas Adventures: Byers #23

The photos in the next few posts were taken on 18 January 2023. I went on a short recce walk to see what I could capture on my visit here.

Interesting facts about Byers, TX

“Byers is at the intersection of State Highway 79 and Farm Road 171, two miles south of the conjunction of the Red and Wichita rivers, fourteen miles north of Henrietta, and twenty miles northeast of Wichita Falls in northern Clay County. It was founded by two brothers, Anthony Walter and George Washington Byers, partners in a general store in Sherman and acquired over 30,000 acres of land in Clay County. There are several versions of how they acquired the land. One is that Mr. Acers, a large landowner in the area, bought barbed wire on credit with his land as collateral, and when he could not pay off his debt, the land was forfeited to the Byers brothers. The other story is that the Byers brothers traded their mercantile business in Sherman for land in Clay County.

Byers was established in 1904 when the Wichita Falls and Oklahoma Railway was completed from Wichita Falls to Byers. The brothers donated $15,000 of the $27,924 raised to complete the line. They subdivided their ranch, laid out town lots, and established the Tree Ranch. Because the railroad went three miles west of Benvanue, many residents moved their homes and businesses to Byers to access the railroad, completed through the community in June of 1904. Town lots went on sale on June 10. That year Byers received a post office with A. Harris, the owner of the first store in town, as postmaster. In 1905 Edgar P. Haney established the community’s first newspaper, the Byers Searchlight, to promote the district, its school, and the “Searchlight Town Band.”

By 1906 Byers was a sizable town. Its school had 115 pupils and two teachers, and the town had its first cotton gin. In 1914 the community had a population of 600, the First National Bank, a weekly newspaper named the Byers Herald, several cotton gins, cattle breeders and livestock dealers, and cotton buyers. In addition, various stores included furniture dealers, jewelers, grocery and dry goods establishments, and a blacksmith. The population of Byers remained steady throughout the 1920s, but by the 1930s, it began to drop. The town was incorporated by 1940. It had a population of 427 and thirty businesses shortly before World War II. In 1943 the Wichita Falls and Oklahoma Railway was abandoned. By the 1980s, twelve businesses remained in Byers. In 1980 and 1990, the population was 510. In 2000 the population was 517. Byers was one of the five school districts in Clay County; in 1990, its school had 136 students.”

Byers, Clay County, Texas

“Stop dreaming about your bucket list and start living it.” ~Annette White

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PS.  I am saving up for upcoming Landscape Photography Trips to Scotland and Namibia and a few road trips in the USA, including Route 66 and The historic Apache Trail. Also on my list are National Parks and Botanical gardens in South Africa, the UK, and the USA. 

The most important photography trip for me is to return to Scotland. I am honoring my promise to my Father to return and capture the beautiful landscapes and the elusive Puffins.  Your help to make these trips a reality would be much appreciated in today’s economy.

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