A Cochran County Christmas


Photo courtesy Texas’ Last Frontier Historical Museum

Christmas decoration on a light pole on Main Street in Morton, Texas. Year unknown. (State Highway 214, looking South). The Steak House is where present-day Family Dollar is located.

Cheyenne Barnes, Tribe reporter

The Community Christmas Program began in 1953, with representatives from each local organization, club and business meeting to discuss individual programs and projects in addition to  ways to generate good Christmas spirit. Decorations and lights lined Main Street and the community would gather together each year for the “lighting of the square”.

The start of the Community Christmas Program in Morton kicked off each year with an annual Christmas Parade in early December. Prizes were given for the top three floats in the parade.

The Cochran County Garden Club held an annual Christmas Lighting Contest along with a tour of homes. Several Christmas shows were held for children throughout the month and L’Allegro Study Club created a Nativity scene. Over 30 local business held drawings for gift certificates and merchandise each Christmas and  the Cochran County Ministerial Alliance and Jaycee Club collected and distributed food baskets and toys to those in need each Christmas Eve. Churches held special choir programs, candle lighting programs and Christmas services.

Stores were filled with merriment, talks of sons and daughters coming home for the holidays, and family dinners.

Christmas court house
Photo courtesy Texas’ Last Frontier Historical Museum
The original Cochran County Courthouse decorated for Christmas, year unknown.

Letters to Santa from children in Morton, stories of the meaning and spirit of Christmas, news of college students returning home for the holidays, and recipes filled the pages of the Morton Tribune.

The biggest attractions in Morton were the decorated homes and business fronts on nearly every street in town. Drivers would slowly move up and down the streets, often stopping so that the occupants could get out for a better view of the decorations and bright lights. Residents were known to step outside and greet those who stopped to view their decorations up-close and some even offered refreshments.

It was frequently stated that Morton residents seemed to take a little more personal pride in putting in that extra little bit of work during the holiday seasons, than other towns in the area.