William R. Hunt

SILVER, TEXAS. Silver, in northwestern Coke County, began in the 1870s as a ranching community. Thomas J. Wiley established the first post office in 1890 and a one-room school opened in the community that same year. The post office was closed in 1907 because of drought but reopened in 1908. The reported population was ten from 1910 to 1940. In 1946 the Sun Oil Company discovered oil on Allen Jameson's property, and by July 1949 the company had established fifty-nine producing wells in the Jameson oilfield. A rail spur was built from Maryneal, and State Highway 208 was paved from Robert Lee to Silver. Silver became one of the county's largest towns, with an estimated 1,000 residents, most of them living in camps established by the oil company. The small school was replaced by a million-dollar complex; the town also had three churches, a company recreation hall, two cafes, and a number of stores. In the mid-1960s oil production in the field declined and the Sun Oil Company discontinued most of its operations in the area. The population was sixty in 1980, but the post office was still open in 1986, when Silver had a trucking firm, a blacksmith and welding shop, and a Sun Oil Company field office; the school complex had been converted into a hog farm. In 2000 the population was still sixty, and there were six businesses in the community.

T. Lindsay Baker, Ghost Towns of Texas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986). Jewell G. Pritchett, From the Top of Old Hayrick: A Narrative History of Coke County (Abilene, Texas: Pritchett, 1980).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, William R. Hunt, "SILVER, TX," accessed August 23, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox