Ector County, Texas Genealogy & History
Judkins is located 18 miles southwest of Odessa, Texas, on Interstate 20 and the Missouri Pacific railroad in southwestern Ector County. The community began as a point on the Texas & Pacific railroad when its tracks were extended into the county in 1881, but no name was found for the railroad location. The Judkins family settled there in 1898 and the current community name was supplied by Frank Judkins, who became postmaster when the first post office opened on 26 December 1906. Judkins School District first levied taxes in the 1907-1908 term and built a new building at the cost of $3,000 in 1908. In 1908-1909 the school enrolled 71 pupils who were taught by two teachers. A townsite was planned and a group of 24 German farm families came from a settled Texas area to live in the community during a wet year such as 1908. Their row crops, including cotton, grew well until the drought of 1910 sent them back to their earlier homes. When Felix E. Jones was postmaster in 1910, the post office closed. On 26 August 1912, a former Judkins postmaster, George E. Printz, managed to reopen a post office, but it closed again on 30 September 1914. Morgan H. Lewis reestablished the post office on 09 September 1916, but this third post office was discontinued before the end of the year and the building was moved to Odessa. By 1921 the school building was in need of repair and Judkins School District was consolidated with all other districts in the county to form Ector County School District. On 28 December 1926 oil was discovered in nearby Penwell field and a fourth post office opened at Judkins on 15 August 1928 with Dorothy Tharp as postmaster. Temporarily revived by the oil boom, Judkins reported a population of 150 in 1929. From 1933 through 1947 Judkins consisted of 15 residents and one business, although the post office consolidated with the one at Penwell on 15 June 1936 when Hiram R. Smith was postmaster. From the 1950s through the 1990s no population and no businesses were recorded for Judkins by Texas Almanac. John Clements did not list Judkins among populated communities of Ector County in 1988. Sources: State Department of Highways and Public Transportation, General Highway Map of Ector County, Texas, revised 01 Nov 1986; Wylene Kirk, “Early Post Offices and Towns in the Permian Basin Area,” in The Texas Permian Historical Annual 1:1 (Aug 1961), 11-21; Charles P. Zlatkovich, Texas Railroads: A Record of Construction and Abandonment (Austin: UT and TSHA, 1981), 91; Tracy Byers, “History of Education in Ector County,” in Odessa, Texas (n.p.: Texas Permian Historical Society, 1961, 21-23; Robert L. Phifer, Petroleum Review: Ector County, Texas (Houston: Phifer Petroleum Publications, 1955), 8; 1929 Texas Almanac, 57; 1933 Texas Almanac, 60; 1936 Texas Almanac, 153; 1939 Texas Almanac, 109; 1941-42 Texas Almanac, 123; 1943-44 Texas Almanac, 77; 1945-46 Texas Almanac, 119; 1947-48 Texas Almanac, 141; Charles Deaton, Texas Postal History Handbook (Houston: by author, 1980), 109; John Clements, Flying the Colors: Texas Facts, 5th ed. (Dallas: Clements Research II, Inc., 1988), 218.
Read Judkins History from the Handbook of Texas Online