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.

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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, William R. Hunt, "CIRCLE BACK, TX," accessed August 21, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on October 13, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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