Wink, Texas

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Wink is a city in Winkler County, Texas, United States. The population was 919 at the 2000 census. By 2009, the population had reportedly crept up to 926.[3]

Wink was the hometown of singer and songwriter Roy Orbison, although he was born in Vernon, Texas.



[4] Wink began in 1926, when oil was discovered in Hendrick oilfield in Winkler County. By mid-1927 the Wink Townsite Company was selling lots in Horse Wells pasture of the T. G. Hendrick Ranch. The oil boom brought new people to Wink, causing a shortage of housing. Newcomers set up tents and built makeshift houses. Wink was originally named Winkler, Texas for the county. When a post office was requested, postal authorities notified the applicant that there was a Winkler, Texas, post office already in operation. The citizens shortened the name to Wink and received a post office in 1927. In that year the first public school was organized, and a temporary building was constructed. A Sunday school was started by November 1927, and the population of the town was reported at 3,500. By 1929 that number climbed to 6,000. It is possible the actual population would have been around 10,000 to 25,000 people.[5]

[6] The boom brought lawlessness-bootlegging, prostitution, gambling-to Wink. Even the city government, which was organized on June 4, 1928, came under the control of a well-organized underworld. On October 16, 1928, District Judge Charles Klapproth declared the incorporation election void, and the city government was reorganized.In December of 1928 the first municipal building was constructed; it was a jail. In 1929 the Texas-New Mexico Railroad built its tracks from Wink Junction to Wink, connecting the town to Monahans and to New Mexico.

In the 1930s the boom declined; the population hovered under 4,000, and the number of businesses fluctuated between fifty and 180. By 1933 the town was legally incorporated. Five hospitals and fifteen doctors served injured oilfield workers, expectant mothers, and epidemic victims. Law and order became the rule of the land. Throughout the 1940s the population continued to decline from 1,945 to 1,521, and the number of businesses decreased from 130 to forty.

In December 1947 Winkler County State Bank opened in Wink. Wink entered the 1950s with stable community including a population of just over 1,500. The number of businesses varied in the decade from twenty-five to fifty. In 1958 the railroad from Wink Junction to Wink was abandoned. During the early 1960s the population rose to over 1,800 but dipped to under 1,200. By 1968 the number of businesses jumped between fifty-five and twenty.

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