While our physical offices are closed until at least April 13 due Austin's COVID-19 "shelter-in-place" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


OLTON, TEXAS. Olton, on U.S. Highway 70 and Farm Road 168, twenty miles northeast of Littlefield in northeast Lamb County, was settled around 1900 by Harry Baughn, T. F. Brown, and Luther Williams on state land surrounded by the C. C. Slaughter ranch. As the first town in the county, it became the county seat when the county was organized in 1908. In 1903 A. B. Powell started the first store and post office in his home three miles from the present townsite; he named the community for either a son or an early preacher. The post office changed location in 1904, 1905, and 1908. In 1908 it was moved to T. F. Brown's home, an old Slaughter ranch windmill. The Burro school, so named because a herd of burros froze to death beside it in a blizzard, was established in 1903 and moved to Olton in 1908. The population of Olton was seventy-five in 1910. L. L. Kyle published the Olton Enterprise beginning in 1926. When the town was incorporated in 1930 it had a population of 300, three cotton gins, and other businesses. The population was 782 in 1940. The citizens of Littlefield tried repeatedly to make their larger town county seat-in 1929, 1932, and 1937-before succeeding in 1946. Despite this setback Olton continued to grow. Its population reached 1,917 in 1960. In 1965 a low-cost housing project was built, and in 1966 the town had four schools, thirteen churches, a bank, a hospital, a library, and a newspaper. The number of businesses was seventy-eight in 1970, when the population was 1,782. The 1980 population was 2,235. In 1990 it was 2,116. The population was 2,288 in 2000.

Vincent Matthew Peterman, Pioneer Days: A Half-Century of Life in Lamb County and Adjacent Communities (Lubbock: Texas Tech Press, 1979). Evalyn Parrott Scott, A History of Lamb County (Sudan, Texas: Lamb County Historical Commission, 1968).

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, "OLTON, TX," accessed April 02, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjo04.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on TexasAlmanac.com!
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...