Texas Forts Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program


Hamlin’s economy boomed twice in the early 20th century — when three railroads inaugurated service between 1906 and 1910 and again when oil was discovered nearby in 1928. The headquarters of Cooper Oil Company tips its hat to Hamlin’s oil heritage with displays of vintage Indian Oil & Refining and Texaco signs, a gas pump and other memorabilia.

By 1876, buffalo hunters had thinned Northern Plains bison herds to the point that hide buyer Charles Rath forged a trail from the Dodge City, Kansas, railhead to a site near Hamlin. His trading post, Rath City, harvested Southern Plains buffalo and shipped hides and bones to Eastern markets. Despite Native American resistance, the buffalo slaughter took only three years, then the town and trail vanished. The Hamlin Chamber of Commerce displays artifacts about the shortlived community.