Lamesa, city (1990 pop. 10,809), seat of Dawson co., NW Tex., in the Llano Estacado; inc. 1917. Lamesa is a processing and shipping center for an irrigated area where cattle and hogs are raised and cotton, sorghum, and wheat are grown. Manufactures include electric motors, sheet metal, cottonseed oil and other cotton products, and apparel. The city also has several oil and natural-gas wells.
Lamesa (pronounced "la-MEE-sa", "la-MEE-suh") is the seat of Dawson County, Texas, United States. Located south of Lubbock on the Llano Estacado, Lamesa was founded in 1903. Most of the economy is based on cattle and cotton. The Preston E. Smith prison unit, named for the former Texas governor, is located just outside of Lamesa.

A branch of Howard College, a community college in Big Spring, is located in Lamesa.

Preston Smith, a Democrat, served as governor from 1969-1973. He grew up in Lamesa and graduated from Lamesa High School in 1928. He was born in Williamson County and launched his successful business and political career from Lubbock.

Notable residents

Though he is usually associated with Lubbock, where he graduated from Monterey High School, the actor Barry Corbin was born in Lamesa in 1940. He co-starred in the NBC series Boone in the 1983-1984 season and thereafter on CBS's Northern Exposure, which ran from 1990-1995. In 2001, he had a role in Tom Selleck's Turner Network Television film, Crossfire Trail based on a Louis L'Amour novel. Corbin's father, Kilmer Blaine Corbin (1919-1993) was a judge and a Democratic member of the Texas State Senate from 1949-1957.

J.E. Airhart, a former 30-year member of the Dawson County Commissioners Court, died in 2007 at the age of ninety-one. Airhart, a farmer and rancher who served as a county commissioner from 1955-1985, worked to obtain the county livestock and fair barn, the Dawson County general aviation airport, and numerous highway improvements. He was instrumental in the successful negotiation of rights-of-way for U.S. Highway 87 north to O'Donnell and south to Ackerly.

Larry D. Johnson (1959-2008) was until the time of his death the Lubbock County Precinct 2 constable. He was a Lamesa native and a 1977 graduate of Lamesa High School. He was also a reserve officer for the Slaton Police Department.

John W. "Johnny" Palmore, III (June 21, 1909August 11, 2008), was a prominent businessman and civic leader in Lamesa. Born in Ravenna to John Palmore, II, and the former Merle Moffitt, he graduated from Ravenna High School in 1926, Sherman High School in 1927, and Texas Tech University in 1931, where he procured a bachelor of science degree in agriculture. He taught and coached in Windom in Fannin County. Palmore was a county agent for Van Zandt (1936-1938), Lubbock (1938-1939), and Swisher (1939-1944) counties. He worked in his in-law's business, Eiland Lumber Company, in Lamesa from 1944 until his retirement at the age of eighty-seven in 1996. He was also an automobile and truck dealer. He served as member and president of the Lamesa School Board. He was a Lamesa City Council member from 1968-1977. Active in the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary International, Palmore was a former president of Lamesa Girl Scouts. A Presbyterian elder, he is interred in Lamesa Memorial Park. He was predeceased by his wife, the former Mary Helen Eiland, and survived by two daughters, Pam Koehler and husband Jimmie of Lamesa, and Sunny Parish and husband Mel of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and six grandchildren.


Lamesa is located at (32.734439, -101.958190).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12.4 km²), all of it land.

Dal Paso Museum

Dal Paseo Museum, a collection of local artifacts housed in an impressive former hotel, is located in downtown Lamesa. The name is derived from the fact that Lamesa is located halfway between Dallas and El Paso. On display are home furnishings, pioneer tools, and ranch and farm equipment. There are also exhibits by local artists. The museum, at 306 South First Street, has limited afternoon hours to the public.


As of the census of 2000, there were 9,952 people, 3,696 households, and 2,679 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,080.8 people per square mile (803.9/km²). There were 4,270 housing units at an average density of 892.8/sq mi (344.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 41.9% White Non-Hispanic, 4.2% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 19.51% from other races, and 2.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 52.96% of the population.

There were 3,696 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.5% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,362, and the median income for a family was $31,556. Males had a median income of $26,393 versus $16,826 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,211. About 18.1% of families and 21.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.4% of those under age 18 and 12.9% of those age 65 or over.


The City of Lamesa is served by the Lamesa Independent School District, which includes Lamesa High School, and Lamesa Middle School, whose school mascots are the Golden Tornadoes and the Whirlwinds, respectively.


  • The La Entrada al Pacifico is an international trade corridor that begins in Topolobampo, Mexico, runs through Midland-Odessa and ends in Lamesa (According to the legal definition).
  • According to legend, it was in Lamesa that chicken fried steak was first created. However, it is much more likely that the dish is a variation on the wienerschnitzel, brought to Texas by its significant population of German immigrants.
  • Lamesa's Sky-Vue Drive-In Theater is well known regionally. It is one of only fourteen remaining drive-in theaters in the state of Texas. The survival of this cultural landmark is largely due to the excellent food available in the snack bar. The "Chihuahua" sandwich (stacked fried corn tortillas filled with chili, onions, shredded cabbage and pimento cheese with a jalapeño pepper on the side)is a specialty of the snackbar and many local residents order takeout even when they don't watch the movie. "Sky-Vue Drive In Lamesa" "Drive In Movies in Texas"
  • The television series "Dallas" had its most profitable oil well, Ewing 19, in Lamesa. In one of the more dramatic scenes of the series, J.R. Ewing flies in his Learjet to the Lamesa airport. Shortly thereafter, gunfire erupts and Dawson County sheriff's deputies shoot a man who blew up the oilfield after a failed effort to blackmail J.R.


The city is served by a bi-weekly newspaper (The Lamesa Press Reporter) and by local and area radio stations KPET (AM 690), KBKN (FM), KTXC (FM), and KYMI (FM). The cable TV system is operated by Northland Cable Television. Other signals are received from stations in Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, and other area towns. Television signals are provided by ABC, CBS. NBC, PBS, Fox and CW stations in Lubbock and the Permian basin (Midland-Odessa).


External links

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