Clarendon, Texas

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Clarendon is a city in Donley County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,974 at the 2000 census. The county seat of Donley County,[3] Clarendon is located on United States Highway 287 in the Texas Panhandle some sixty miles east of Amarillo. It was established in 1878 by Methodist clergyman L.H. Carhart as a "sobriety settlement" in contrast to typical boom towns of that era. It acquired the sobriquet "Saints Roost" from local cowboys: hence the unusual name of the Clarendon museum, the Saints' Roost Museum.[4]

The Sandell Drive-In, built by Gary Barnhill (born 1920) and named after for his daughters, Sandra and Adele, opened on Texas State Highway 70 in 1955 and closed in 1984. In 2001, John Earl Morrow (born ca. 1954), a Clarendon resident and owner of Morrow Drilling and Service, purchased the property from the Barnhills and in August 2002 re-opened the drive-in. The facility, which can handle three hundred cares, is operated by Morrow and volunteers during the summers. Morrow was motivated to bring back the facility because he had viewed films there during his childhood.[5]


Notable residents

For a community of such small population, Clarendon has been the home of numerous notable persons.

  • JA Ranch matriarch Cornelia Wadsworth Ritchie Adair maintained a house in Clarendon and was a benefactor of many Donley County charities. The Saints' Roost Museum in Clarendon is the restoration of her former Adair Hospital. She was active too in the Episcopal Church in Clarendon. She also maintained residences in England, having become a naturalized British subject, and in Ireland, where she lived part of the year at her late husband's Glenveagh Castle. She is buried in Ireland.

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