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DUNSTAN, TEXAS. Dunstan, formerly known as Glenbelto and as Glenham, is just west of State Highway 95 near Big Sandy Creek and what was formerly the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad five miles north of Bastrop in north central Bastrop County. The community, one of several company towns that sprang up with the growth in the lignite mining industry after 1900, served the needs of the Glenn Belto Coal Company, for which about fifty Mexican miners worked under the supervision of John Belto, who also served as the town's first postmaster. The community had a post office from 1901 to 1906. The coal enterprise was operated by Belto and his father-in-law, Martin Glenn, and was leased in 1904 to the Bastrop Coal Company. The town provided the miners' families with housing and a commissary; local children attended school in Bastrop. The area production of lignite peaked in the 1920s. In the depressed economy of the 1930s (see GREAT DEPRESSION), lignite produced through the shaft mining techniques characteristic of the mines at Glenham became increasingly uncompetitive compared to strip-mined coal and to petroleum. By the mid-1940s lignite mining in the county had ended. Glenham reported 100 residents from the mid-1930s through the late 1940s, when its population dropped to forty. Population estimates stayed at that level until the mid-1960s, after which no statistics were available. In the 1980s the townsite was uninhabited, although archaeologists had around that time shown considerable interest in it.

H. Grady Jordan, An Industrial Survey of Bastrop, Texas (MS, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, 1947). Ray D. Kenmotsu, Cultural Resource Investigations at the Powell Bend Prospect (Texas Archeological Survey, University of Texas at Austin, 1982).
John J. Buder

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Handbook of Texas Online, John J. Buder, "Dunstan, TX," accessed October 23, 2017,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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