Post, Texas: Small Town, Big Past
By Marie Bartlett | Jul 23, 2015
Next time you sit down at the breakfast table to eat a bowl of Post cereal, you can thank one man for his vision to establish a town in the high plains of west Texas that not only carried his name, it enriched its local citizens.
Post, Texas, in Garza County, was founded in 1907 by cereal magnate, inventor and “father of advertising” Charles W. Post, of Battle Creek, Michigan. On his way to Fort Worth in the early 1900s, he stopped by the region and saw, not hardscrabble Texas land, but a “utopia” he could colonize and develop.
What Post had in mind was to create a debt-free model farming community. He bought a ranch and adjacent land that covered nearly 225,000 acres, then financing, supervising and building the town of Post, he hoped settlers to the region could have ownership far below the cost of land sold elsewhere in Texas.
What he left behind were agricultural innovations to help farmers become more productive and a railroad depot that would open the region to newcomers. He reportedly paid the Santa Fe Railroad $50,000 to ensure a depot would be built before his death, and it was built, in 1910. (Post died in 1914).
Today, the depot is home to the Post Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Post, “the cereal man,” is honored with a life-sized statue on the lawn of the county courthouse and his name known to everyone in town.
A favorite day trip from Lubbock, you can find Post by following US Hwy 84 south. It’s less than 45 miles from Lubbock, at the crossroad of US 380. The drive is pastoral and scenic, with plenty of farmland and Texas-sized oil wells along the way. And you can be back in Lubbock in plenty of time for dinner.
Visit on “Trade Day,” the first Saturday of each month from February to December, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., an event that brings all types of vendors to the town’s Main Street. Then shop around for antiques, jewelry, home décor and fashion. Downtown, there’s a book store, several art galleries, a historical museum, a Christmas store, a 400-seat theatre featuring a live Biblical drama, and my personal favorite – the Plum Crazy shop owned and run by the warm and friendly Donna Degan, where she advertises “lots of class and a little bit of sass.”
Old West lovers come to town in early August for the three-day Post Stampede Rodeo, for a taste of all things authentic cowboy.
Among the many finds in Donna’s shop are unusual gift items that beckon customers at least long enough to take a peek and ask where she finds her treasures.
“Everywhere and anywhere,” she says. “That’s the best part of the job.”
Christian gifts and books are available across the street at the Lord’s Vineyard, and the Christmas Gallery is open even in the high heat of summer. The Main Street Mercantile is where “old meets new,” and children’s western-style clothes can be found at KDs@Twins’ on East Main Street. Texas Treasures offers authentic Lone Star gifts from belt buckles to hand-crafted western sculptures.
I stopped in at the Post Public Library to ask about places to eat and found a neighborly welcome by the local librarian, who suggested George’s, a Greek-style restaurant that’s a favorite for locals and truckers coming through. (Other than fast food chains, there are few places to eat in Post, the only downside to the trip.) But George’s has a homey feel, is super clean, and customers rave about the fried mushrooms and potato salad.
The best burgers are found at Holly’s Drive-In, established in 1977 near the city park, just outside of town on Hwy 84S. At the park you’ll find a playground, pool and cooking facilities. Two lakes are within an easy drive, White River to the north and Lake Alan Henry to the south. Hunting is a huge sport in the area, with local ranches offering dove, quail, deer and a few exotics to gun sports enthusiasts.
But what Texans, and the people of Post, seem to love most is their history. Though Post is small and quaint by Texas standards, it has five blocks of historic district, with many of its original buildings still standing.
A 1912 sanitarium houses the Garza County Historical Museum, which offers a glimpse into the past, and artifacts from the life of Charles W. Post. Rare items from his private office and personal art collection are part of the exhibit.
For a full list of attractions in Post, Texas, contact the Post Area Chamber of Commerce at #1 Santa Fe Plaza, Post, Texas, 79356, call 806-495-3461, or visit the chamber’s website.
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