Vega, Texas

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Vega is a city in Oldham County, Texas, United States. It is the county seat of Oldham County [3]. The population was 936 at the 2000 census. A July 1, 2009, U.S. Census Bureau estimate placed the population at 896.[4]

In 2005, Vega was the setting for the CMT reality show, Popularity Contest.

It is located west of Amarillo on historic U.S. Route 66.

Contents

Geography

Vega is located at 35°14′44″N 102°25′30″W / 35.24556°N 102.425°W / 35.24556; -102.425 (35.245547, -102.425112)[5]. It is situated at the junction of Interstate 40 (Old Route 66) and U.S. Highway 385 in southern Oldham County, approximately 30 miles west of Amarillo.[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.8 km²), all of it land.

History

In 1879, the area was opened by the state for homesteading. The first settler, N.J. Whitfield, arrived in 1899. On October 17, 1899, he purchased an area of Oldham County known as 'Section 90' for $1.00 per acre.[7] In 1903, Whitfield sold a 100-foot strip of land that extended across the southern part of Oldham County to the Choctaw, Oklahoma, and Texas (later Rock Island) Railroad as a right-of-way.[8] He then sold portions of land on the south side of the right-of-way to other settlers. A.M. Miller and Howard Trigg surveyed the town site that eventually became Vega in May 1903.[9] The name Vega, which is Spanish for "meadow," was chosen because it reflected the vast prairie and surrounding countryside of the area.[8][10] Soon after, Miller opened a store, and a post office, saloon, and a school that doubled as a Masonic Lodge were built in the community. In 1907, ranchers Patrick and John Landergin purchased a part of the LS Ranch from Swift & Company. Working in association with the Amarillo-based Pool Land Company, the Landergin brothers brought more prospective settlers to the community.[9] The following year, they established a bank in Vega. When the railroad was completed, Vega began to thrive. There were several stores, a blacksmith, two churches, and a newspaper – the Vega Sentinel – operating in the community by early 1909.

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