While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" 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 »


William R. Hunt
Bailey County Map
Bailey County Map. Courtesy of the Texas Almanac. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Circle Back School Class Photo (1956)
Circle Back School Class Photo (1956). Courtesy of Lottie Doyle. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

CIRCLE BACK, TEXAS. Circle Back, at the junction of Farm roads 298 and 3397, in eastern Bailey County, was named for a ranch to the south whose brand was a circle on the backs of cattle. From 1918 to 1956 the settlement had a six-grade school and at one time about a dozen houses, a filling station, and a store–post office. Gordon A. Sharman was appointed postmaster in Circle Back on February 25, 1931, and succeeded by Leaburn H. Harper on January 18, 1944, and Bulah L. Harper on September 19, 1951. Nella Boyce was appointed postmaster on August 26, 1953, but the post office was discontinued on March 19, 1954, with all mail redirected to Sudan. The reformation of Lamb and Bailey counties in 1957 led to the consolidation of the Circle Back and Sudan and school districts. In 1949 the community, which served surrounding cattle and sheep ranches, had nearly one hundred people. Community members Raymond and Elizabeth Gage were active within the Texas Odd Fellows fraternal order and served in leadership positions from the late 1940s through the 1960s. Sarah “Zue” Smart ran the store, which burned around 1965. By 1980 the population had dwindled to forty-nine, and by the mid-1980s only the Baptist minister and his wife and two children remained. From 1990 through 2000 the population held at ten, but decreased to eight in 2014.


Amarillo Globe-Times, June 27, 1957, May 30, 1966. LaVonne McKillip, ed., Early Bailey County History (Muleshoe, Texas, 1978). Lubbock Morning Avalanche, May 4, 1957. Odessa American, May 24, 1965.

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, William R. Hunt, "CIRCLE BACK, TX," accessed July 14, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnc59.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on October 13, 2017. 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...