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About Kermit, Texas

Kermit is on the Texas-New Mexico Railway and State highways 18, 302, 703, and 115 seven miles northwest of Wink in central Winkler County. It began as a supply center for the scattered ranches of the area. Kermit became the seat of Winkler County when the county was organized in 1910. The first public school and the post office opened the same year. The town was named for Kermit Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt. The younger Roosevelt visited the T Bar Ranchqv in northern Winkler County to hunt antelope a few months before the town was named. In 1916 the county suffered a drought. Many homesteaders and ranchers were forced to leave. In 1924 only Ern Baird's family remained in the town. Only one student attended school in the county for five months of 1924. Only three houses and the courthouse were in use by 1926. On July 16, 1926, however, oil was discovered in Hendrick oilfield,qv near Kermit, and the town experienced a boom. In 1927 a population of 1,000 was reported; by 1929 that number increased to 1,500. On March 4, 1929, the Texas-New Mexico Railway reached the town.

The population declined drastically in the early 1930s, but both population and business figures rose at the end of the 1930s, when 2,700 residents and 180 businesses were listed. On February 15, 1938, residents voted to incorporate. During the 1940s the oil boom caused real estate prices to double. Housing was scarce, and some people lived in tents. A bank was opened by 1945. The grade school had to be enlarged, and a hospital was built. In the 1950s the town continued to grow; housing additions were built. By 1960 the town had a population of more than 6,000 and 215 businesses. Flooding became a problem because of the flat terrain. By the 1960s Kermit had 10,465 people and 260 businesses. New crown streets were constructed to solve the flooding problem, and more housing additions were built. The town moved the last working wooden derrick in the Permian Basinqv from Loving County to Pioneer Park in Kermit in 1966 as a symbol of the importance of the oil industry to the economy of Kermit and Winkler County. In the 1970s and 1980s the population of Kermit bounced between 8,500 and 6,912, and the number of businesses moved between 200 and 116. Improvements were made in city services, and more housing additions were built. The 1990 United States census set the population of Kermit at 6,875. By 2000 the population had dropped to 5,714. Although the 2010 census places Kermit with under 6000 residents, population has been growing recently due to the recent oil boom. Kermit is on the Texas-New Mexico Railway and State highways 18, 302, 703, and 115 seven miles northwest of Wink in central Winkler County. It.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Wylene Kirk, "Early Post Offices and Towns in the Permian Basin Area," Texas Permian Historical Annual 1 (August 1961). Roger M. and Diana Davids Olien, Oil Booms (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982). A History of Winkler County (Kermit, Texas: Winkler County Historical Commission, 1984)

City of Kermit Official Site

Official Site of Winkler County

Mapquest Maps of Kermit TX

TXGenWeb/RootsWeb Winkler County
has links to some excellent articles about the history of Kermit Schools

The Winkler Post Online newspaper featuring Kermit, Wink, and Winkler County news

Kermit, TX Wikipedia Article

Handbook of Texas Kermit TX
by the Texas State Historical Association

Winkler County Quick Facts
from the US Census Bureau

City-Data Kermit TX
Kermit, Texas detailed profile

Texas Escapes: Kermit TX

Kermit the Frog's Visit

10/14/05 Kermit the Frog began his 50th birthday World Tour in Kermit TX