Morton, Texas

Morton, Texas
Morton, Texas
—  Town  —
Cattle grazing on the South Plains between Denver City and Morton
Location of Morton, Texas
Coordinates: 33°43′29″N 102°45′27″W / 33.72472°N 102.7575°W / 33.72472; -102.7575Coordinates: 33°43′29″N 102°45′27″W / 33.72472°N 102.7575°W / 33.72472; -102.7575
Country United States
State Texas
County Cochran
 – Total 1.4 sq mi (3.7 km2)
 – Land 1.4 sq mi (3.7 km2)
 – Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 3,760 ft (1,146 m)
Population (2000)
 – Total 2,249
 – Density 1,593.7/sq mi (615.3/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 – Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 79346
Area code(s) 806
FIPS code 48-49464[1]
GNIS feature ID 1363181[2]
A road sign welcomes visitors to Morton.

Morton is a town in Cochran County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,249 at the 2000 census. The population has been in steady decline since the 1960s and is estimated to have dropped by approximately 15% from the 2000 number when the 2010 Census is completed. Morton is the county seat of Cochran County[3]. With the release of the 2010 Census [2010 Cochran County Census Data], Cochran County has a population of 3,127, which represents a decline of 16.2% since the 2000 Census was taken.



Famous Cattle Baron Christopher C. Slaughter died in 1919 and in 1921 his heirs dissolved his cattle company. Slaughter's eldest daughter, Minnie Slaughter Veal, hired an agent to sell her share of the property and this agent - named Morton Smith - founded the town of Morton.

In 1923 the actual townsite was platted and Smith's land office was on the eastside of the square.

In 1924, Morton (the town) became the county seat over a town called Ligon. The Slaughters had founded Ligon and were hoping that it would become county seat.

Morton somehow was spared the fate of many Texas towns that shriveled and died after being bypassed by the railroad, and being the county seat helped it survive.

Ranches continued to be sold as farmland throughout the 20s. According to the Handbook of Texas - a family named Winder was so large that it doubled the population of Morton. Mrs. Mary Winder served as Morton's first postmistress (1924–1943).

In 1933 Morton was incorporated with Henry Cox as the town's first mayor.

Morton was the hometown of Lt. Col. George Andrew Davis, Jr., a World War II Ace who was killed in the Korean War.

Geography, Climate and Points of Interest

Morton is located at 33°43′29″N 102°45′27″W / 33.724705°N 102.757516°W / 33.724705; -102.757516.[4] at an altitude of approximately 3,800 feet above mean sea level. The topography of the area is generally flat, with higher elevation to the western part of the county, gently sloping downward as one travels to the east. Morton is located in what is known as the "Staked Plains" or Llano Estacado, which is in the southern portion of the Great Plains.

The center of the City of Morton (location of the County Courthouse) lies adjacent to the Northwest corner of the intersection of State Highways 114 and 214. Short video of downtown Morton taken in summer 2010.

Morton has a mild, semi-arid climate. On average, Morton receives 18 inches of precipitation per year. Summers in Morton are hot, with high temperatures in the 90s °F and dropping into the 60s °F at nights. The highest recorded temperature was 110 °F in June 1994. Winter days in Morton are typically sunny and relatively mild in the mid 50s °F, but nights are cold with temperatures dipping to the mid 20s °F. The lowest recorded temperature was -12 °F in January 1963.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), all of it land, except for Strickland Lake, a small, man-made pond located in the southwestern part of the city.

Approximately 20 miles to the north of Morton, along highway 214 is the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge, home to a large Sandhill Crane migration each autumn, and year round home to a sizable Prairie Dog town. Muleshoe Game Reserve video

Approximately 20 miles to the west of Morton, just over the state line near Lingo, New Mexico is Buffalo Soldier's Hill [Map of Buffalo Soldier's Hill]. This historical mound is the scene where Troop A, 10th Cavalry, had gone out in pursuit of Comanche warriors. The soldiers had inadequate water supplies and some of them died either at the hill or during a long, hot search for water. Some suggest the hill was not a death site but merely the point on their journey where the pursuit of Comanches was abandoned in favor of the search for water.[5]

Public Schools and Athletic Achievements

The City of Morton is served by the Morton Independent School District. The Morton High School mascot is the Indians. The school colors are black and gold, with white.

In 2005, the boys varsity basketball team from Morton High School won the Class 1-A State Championship/Texas Cup for Class 1-A schools in Texas. This athletic achievement was only the latest in a long line of Texas State Basketball Championships for Morton, the first of which was won during the 1971-72 school year. During one amazing 5 year stretch, from 1983 to 1987, Morton appeared in 4 of the 5 State Title games, winning 3 of the 4. While Morton made it to the Regional and State Championship tournaments several additional times and were eliminated before the title game, following are the State title games, scores and opponents in which Morton participated, going 6 - 3 in State Championship Games:

Boys Year Class Winner Score Runner Up Score
1972 2A Morton 62 Whitehouse 59
1976 2A Mart 57 Morton 52
1977 2A Morton 63 Kountze 60
1983 2A Morton 91 Bartlett 69
1985 2A Grapeland 63 Morton 56
1986 2A Morton 73 Dripping Springs 59
1987 2A Morton 84 Liberty Hill 72
2004 1A Normangee 53 Morton 51 OT
2005 1A Morton 66 Snook 38
Tx Cup Class Winner Score Runner Up Score
2005 1A Morton 69 Lipan 53
Girls Year Class Winner Score Runner Up Score
1952 1A Hamilton 27 Morton 19
1987 2A Morton 68 Paris 53
  • = In 1987, both the boys and girls won state championships in basketball

Additional Facts, Services, Etc.

Morton is served by The Morton Tribune[Link to Morton Tribune's Facebook page], a weekly newspaper that publishes on Thursdays. Many of the townspeople are also regular readers of the Lubbock Avalanche Journal, which is published daily in the nearest larger city of Lubbock (located 60 miles to the East) and delivered to Morton daily. Lubbock also serves as a cultural, shopping and medical center for citizens of Morton, as well as the location of the nearest commercial airport.

The Morton Memorial Cemetery is approximately 2 miles north of the city center on highway 214, and is a well manicured and maintained final resting place for former members of the community. There are also interred remains of some Native Americans buried, with a large marker, on the western end of the cemetery.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 2,249 people, 772 households, and 606 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,593.7 people per square mile (615.8/km2). There were 908 housing units at an average density of 643.4 per square mile (248.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 55.40% White, 6.00% African American, 0.84% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 35.17% from other races, and 2.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 53.80% of the population. 2010 Census data for the City of Morton is not available yet, but for Cochran County, one can go to this link and see the County-wide demographics [2010 Census Data Link].

In 2000, there were 772 households out of which 39.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.2% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.4% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.34.

In the city the population was spread out with 31.4% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,809, and the median income for a family was $26,689. Males had a median income of $22,969 versus $17,738 for females. The per capita income for the city was $10,641. About 29.9% of families and 35.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 48.0% of those under age 18 and 12.7% of those age 65 or over.


External links

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