The town of Post, Texas is the county seat of Garza County and was founded by Charles William Post, known for his Post cereals and other grain products. Post had been attracted by the relatively undeveloped area nearby and in 1906, he acquired 213,324 acres that now straddle Garza, Hockley and Lynn Counties in Texas. Out of this, he carved out a large tract for his own Double U Ranch and laid out a model town situated in Garza County.
The town came to be known as Post City and was literally in the middle of nowhere, being 80 miles from the nearest rail line and also 80 miles from the nearest supply of construction materials in Big Spring. Despite the distances, the town began to take shape and Post subdivided 160 acre farms out of his remaining acreage. He wanted to create a modern town. Among other experiments, Post tested dry farming methods on his own ranch and is credited for introducing Angus cattle to the area. The young town took hold, eventually he was able to persuade the Santa Fe railroad to lay tracks and the first train arrived late in 1910.
Post had been born in 1854 in Illinois. He went to college at Illinois Industrial University for a while but got the urge to go west and married in 1874. By accounts he was fairly successful at all he endeavored to do. He started a hardware business, was involved in ranching and real estate out of Fort Worth and had an agriculture related business in Illinois. He moved to Battle Creek, Michigan in 1891, founding the Postum Cereal Company (now part of General Foods) and organized his own paper company to integrate the packaging for his cereal products. He invented Postum (a coffee substitute), Grape-Nuts and Post Toasties, among other products. His talents were not limited to the food business as he is credited for many inventions including a plow blade, cultivator, harrow, hay stacker and seed planter designs.
He was innovative and willing to experiment to seek solutions for arid West Texas. After hearing reports that battlefield explosions may have triggered rainfall, Post experimented with exploding dynamite suspended from kites and also detonating explosives placed on the ground at intervals. Despite all the successes he enjoyed, life was not all positive for him. During his adulthood, he suffered two nervous breakdowns. Post may also have suffered from what now might be diagnosed as bipolar disorder. He is believed to have ended his life by suicide at the relatively young age of 60 in 1914 and is interred at Oak Hill Cemetery in Battle Creek, Michigan.
In 1914, the year he died, the town was incorporated and shortened the name to simply Post, Texas. The town has continued to flourish, though subject to the cycles of farming, cattle and oil businesses. Post’s estate pledged $75,000 and the city raised $35,000 in an unsuccessful bid to become the site of West Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College. Post was once the home of Postex Cotton Mills, later sold to Burlington Industries, though it has since closed down. Its population has more recently hovered between about 4,000 and 5,000 people and Post remains a hub for farming and ranching, oil, and other businesses.
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