Cotton, oil, and cattle ranching dominated the economy. By the 1930’s the population had grown to over 200 citizens. The population started to decline in the 1950s due to inadequate water source, declining cotton prices, and oil camps relocating to richer fields. In the early 1950s the courthouse burned. The post office was closed in 1970. The population had dwindled to about 15 by the 2000s.
One of the most interesting building still standing in Clairemont is the Kent County Jail. The iron cells are 12 x 12 feet and about 7 feet high, built inside of the red sandstone building. This jail was know across West Texas as virtually escape-proof.
It is told that a noted outlaw was on his deathbed at the jail after being shot by a Texas Ranger’s well placed .45 slug.
“Tell me who you rode with and where I can find ’em,” the lawman ordered the dying badman
“Can you keep a secret?” the outlaw whispered, barely able to speak.
“You bet your boots I can” responded the Ranger
“So can I” , the outlaw said as he died with his boots on.
When visiting you better back a sandwich or two – there is no place to grab lunch………but this is definitely a BIG TEXAS STEP into history!
CLAIREMONT, TEXAS – GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN