McLean, Texas

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McLean is a town in Gray County, Texas, United States. It is part of the Pampa, Texas Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 830 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

McLean is located at 35°14′2″N 100°36′0″W / 35.23389°N 100.6°W / 35.23389; -100.6 (35.233836, -100.600055)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.2 square miles (3.1 km²), all of it land.

History

In 1901, Alfred Rowe, an English rancher who later died in the wreck of the Titanic, donated land near a railroad cattle loading stop for the establishment of a town site.[4] The Choctaw, Oklahoma and Texas Railroad Company constructed a water well and a switch and section house there. The town was named for Judge William P. McLean (1836–1925) of the Texas Legislature and Railroad Commission.[5][6] The town grew rapidly. By 1904 McLean had three general stores, a bank, two wagonyards and livery stables, a lumberyard, and a newspaper, the McLean News. A windmill pumped water from a well drilled in the middle of Main Street, and citizens hauled the water in barrels and buckets. The town was incorporated in 1909 with C. S. Rice as mayor and became a center for agriculture.[7]

In 1927, the Mother Road, U.S. Route 66, was built through the town, and it became a stop for tourists as well as a center for oil, livestock, and agriculture shipping. By 1940 the population had risen to 1,500 with 6 churches, 59 businesses, and a newspaper. In 1942, a prisoner of war camp was built east-northeast of the town and was operated until 1945, housing about 3000 German prisoners.

As the prominence of other Texas Panhandle cities, especially Amarillo and Pampa, surpassed McLean, the town began to decrease slowly in size. In 1984, the town was bypassed as part of the final phase of construction of Interstate 40, which replaced the old U.S. Route 66 through that area.[8]

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