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Gasoline

GASOLINE, TEXAS . Gasoline, in southeastern Briscoe County, is on the site of an early line camp for cowboys. In 1903 several farm families built their homes in the vicinity, and they later drilled a water well on the site. Gasoline received its name from the gasoline engine that powered the community's cotton gin, built in 1906 or 1907. At that time such a power source was a novelty in the Panhandle . M. E. Tomson, who managed the gin, opened the community's first store and established a post office there in 1907. The next year W. A. Smith began a hardware and farm-implement business. A one-room school opened in 1908, was expanded to four rooms by 1920, and had four teachers and eleven grades by 1929. In its early years Gasoline had a drugstore, a blacksmith shop, a barbershop, and a cafe. Local church members met in the schoolhouse until it was torn down in 1926, when a new community building was built. Electricity replaced the town's kerosene lamps and carbide lights in 1929, but for years Gasoline had only one phone. A local literary society staged plays, and sports such as baseball and volleyball also supplied entertainment. The gin, the hub of the community, burned down in 1938 and was never rebuilt. In 1940 Gasoline reported twenty residents, and in 1946 its school district merged with the nearby Quitaque district. Gasoline's post office was discontinued in 1948. During the mid-1980s there remained several old farmhouses and the community building, in which yearly homecomings were held. In 1990 a Texas Historical Marker honoring the cotton gin was erected. By 2000, though the community was still shown on county maps, only a few scattered homes marked the site. No population estimates were available.

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