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H. Allen Anderson

ADRIAN, TEXAS. Adrian, on Interstate Highway 40 and U.S. Highway 66 in south central Oldham County, originated in 1900 when the Rock Island survey west of Amarillo picked the site as a station. The first settler in the vicinity was Calvin G. Aten, a former Texas Ranger, who built a dugout for his family west of the site. The town was named for Adrian Cullen, an early farmer in the area, and officially began in the summer of 1909, when the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway was completed through that portion of the county. Promotion by the Iowa-based American-Canadian Land and Townsite Company quickly attracted prospective farmers and businessmen. J. P. Collier, who owned several lots, set up a printing press and provided a city water well and a few two-inch water mains. By 1910 Adrian had a post office, a pool hall, a school, a general store, a lumberyard, a bank, a blacksmith shop, a brick factory, and a newspaper, the Adrian Eagle. In 1915 the town had two churches, a drugstore, telephone service, and a population of fifty. The reason for this slow growth was a lengthy drought, coupled with the difficulty of maintaining a sufficient water supply. Nevertheless, Adrian survived famines and black dusters to become a stopping place for travelers on Route 66 and a shipping point for area wheat growers. The town's first grain elevator was built in 1929. During the 1940s Adrian organized a volunteer fire department, and in 1953 the citizens voted to incorporate with a mayor-council government. By 1984 the population had grown to 222. In 1990 the population was 220, and in 2000 the community reported twelve businesses and 159 inhabitants. The Midpoint Café commemorates the claim that Adrian is the midpoint of Route 66 between Chicago and Los Angeles, and has a collection of highway memorabilia.

Oldham County Historical Commission, Oldham County (Dallas: Taylor, 1981). Kathleen E. and Clifton R. St. Clair, eds., Little Towns of Texas (Jacksonville, Texas: Jayroe Graphic Arts, 1982).

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

Handbook of Texas Online, H. Allen Anderson, "ADRIAN, TX," accessed July 13, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hla06.

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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