Sunray, Texas

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Sunray is a city in Moore County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,950 at the 2000 census.



Sunray, Texas was founded by Jack Clarence Collins. He was born in Hartley, Texas in 1893, and in 1902 moved to Channing, Texas with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. E.S. Collins. Jack graduated from Channing High School and later, in 1916, from Texas A&M, where he was class valedictorian and class president in his senior year. Later he served for several years as cashier of the First National Bank of Channing while extending his family’s ranch holdings. Mr. Collins was well-known and respected in ranching and financial circles, and was a ranking member of the Republican Party for several years. {Sources: Moore County News, Jan. 6, 1938;}

Jack Collins didn’t call the town “Sunray” when he laid it out in 1930. The first lots were sold at $10 each under the name, “Altman,” but it was discovered that a town in Rusk County had already appropriated that name, hence, the name “Sunray” was used. A Post Office was applied for on May 5, 1930, using the name “Altman,” but because of the duplication, “Sunray” was not approved until 1935.[citation needed]

The change to the name “Sunray” came because Sunray Oil Company set up a gas-oil refinery near the town on 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land originally donated by Mr. Collins to Dana Oil & Gas Royalty Company. Sunray Oil Company bought the holdings of Dana in the early Jones field in northeast Moore County which was near the new town. The townsite location was determined by a new Rock Island Railroad route running from Dalhart to Morse along the northern edge of Mr. Collins's townsite survey. At the time the town was 3 miles (4.8 km) from the Jones Well and 6 miles (9.7 km) from the Morton oil well—both early oil-gas discoveries in Moore County.[citation needed]

On December 30, 1937, at the age of 44, Jack Collins was critically injured when both front tires blew out from his car while returning from a Christmas holiday trip to San Antonio. He died several hours later in a Plainview hospital. Template:Source: Moore County Register, Jan. 6, 1938

On Sunday, 29 July 1956, the nearby industrial plant was the site of a major accident. The McKee refinery fire killed 19 firefighters when a storage tank suffered a vapor explosion. [1]


Sunray is located at 36°1′9″N 101°49′26″W / 36.01917°N 101.82389°W / 36.01917; -101.82389 (36.019280, -101.823860)[3].

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