Toyah

Toyah takes its name from an Indian word meaning 'flowing water'. It is the oldest townsite in Reeves County, and began as a trading post for ranches in the area. Prior to the Texas and Pacific Railway's arrival, W.T. Youngblood and his family arrived in a covered wagon and opened an adobe store. In 1881, Toyah saw its first train and a post office was open. By the end of the year, Toyah had tents, saloons, restaurants, and a six-times weekly stage service provided by the Overland Transportation Company connecting to Fort Stockton and Fort Davis. In 1886, the A.M. Fields Hotel was opened, and in 1894 Toyah's first school was built.

By 1910, Toyah had a population of 771 and had become an important cattle shipping point (although the shipping point soon moved to Toyahvale, some 25 miles south as the crow flies). A handsome new brick school was erected in 1912, and by 1914 Toyah had over a thousand residents, where it remained until the Crash of 1929.

Two years later, only 553 remained in Toyah, and only 17 businesses were open. Since then, Toyah has been in a steady decline. By 2010, only 90 people remained in the quiet town. The school building has been abandoned for decades, and the majority of the business district was leveled by a tornado in 2004.

I Visited Toyah
7.13.2017

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