Iraan, Texas

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Iraan is a city in Pecos County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,238 at the 2000 census. The correct pronunciation is "Eye-ruh-ann"; it was named for Ira and Ann Yates, owners of the ranchland upon which the town was built.



Iraan is located at 30°54′49″N 101°53′55″W / 30.91361°N 101.89861°W / 30.91361; -101.89861 (30.913511, -101.898614)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.6 square miles (1.4 km²), all of it land. State Highway 349 and U.S. Highway 190 come together at Iraan. The Pecos River loops around the town to the north and east.


Iraan was an oil boom town, and developed quickly after the discovery of the gigantic Yates Oil Field, which is adjacent to the town on the southwest. The oil field was discovered in 1926, and the first buildings in town were basic housing and infrastructure for workers on the field, all built by the Big Lake Oil Company which became Plymouth Oil Company which was purchased by the Ohio Oil Company, then purchased by Marathon Oil Company, and owned today by Kinder Morgan. By 1927 the town included a school, and the post office appeared in 1928. The population of the town in 1930 was approximately 1,600.[4] About three miles (5 km) south of Iraan was the oil boomtown of Redbarn, which appeared almost immediately after discovery of the oil field, before Iraan itself. It was a collection of tents and shanties in the immediate vicinity of Ira Yates's ranch. He donated 152 acres (0.62 km2) of his ranch to the town of Iraan to encourage further development there instead; in 1952 the town of Redbarn, which never had a permanent population of more than 75, was finally abandoned.[5]

One of Iraan's most famous residents was V.T. Hamlin, the creator of the comic strip Alley Oop. Originally from Iowa, he worked in Iraan during the oil boom period of the late 1920s, and either got the idea for the strip or created its earliest drafts there; the strip was first published in 1932 in Des Moines. He moved back to Iowa in 1929, and later to Florida. A park in Iraan is named after the strip.[6][7]

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