OZONA, TEXAS. Ozona, the county seat and only town in Crockett County, is on Interstate Highway 10 and State Highway 163, midway between Houston and El Paso and 100 miles north of the Texas-Mexico border. It was known as Powell Well when it was founded in 1891. E. M. Powell, a land surveyor, drilled a well near Johnson Draw, established a windmill, and offered water and land for a school, churches, parks, a courthouse, and a jail. Joe Moss, Powell's agent, sold lots, and early settlers planted pecan trees in the shallow soil. Frank M. Boykin served as postmaster for the post office, established on September 3, 1891. The community was chosen as the county seat over nearby Emerald in an election on July 7, 1891, when the first commissioners' court was held. Powell Well became Ozona, named for the quantity of open air or ozone. By 1892 the community had a population of 400, a saloon, a blacksmith, two restaurants, a school, a feed yard, and other businesses. By 1898 the local Crockett Hotel had become a stage stop on the road to San Angelo. The Ozona Kicker, founded by Claude B. Hudspeth in 1892, was renamed the Ozona Stockman in 1914. The Crockett County Courthouse, designed by Oscar Ruffini, was built from locally quarried limestone in 1902. Emerald School moved to Ozona in 1897. Water from the area's deep wells at Water Works Hill and available land drew settlers to the area. Cattle were brought in the early 1880s, and Rambouillet sheep and Angora goats were imported some time later. Gas and oil wells discovered within the town limits continued in production in the late 1980s, but Ozona was never a boom town. The 1936 state highway map showed two schools, two churches, and numerous businesses and dwellings at the townsite, despite a 1926 fire that destroyed a block of business buildings. A flood in 1954 destroyed almost half the town's houses and cost sixteen lives. In 1986 Ozona had two banks, the county library, a radio station, the Ozona Community Center (built in 1936), and a population of 4,200, which was more than 50 percent Hispanic. The Junior Rodeo and fall deer season are among the town's annual events. The Crockett County Museum, located in the County Courthouse Annex, collects and exhibits artifacts connected with area history. Emerald House, the town's oldest dwelling, has been moved to a park near State Highway 290. In 1990 the population was 3,181. The population was 3,436 in 2000.
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: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
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, Lucile I. Harrell, "OZONA, TX," accessed November 13, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hgo02.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.