Lubbock

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Lubbock is the largest city on the Texas South Plains; in 2016, the census estimated the population at 252,506.[1] Founded in 1876, Lubbock is also called "Hub City" for its regional prominence. The city is named for the former Texas Ranger Thomas Saltus Lubbock (1817-1862), who died of typhoid fever in the American Civil War while fighting for the Confederacy. He was the brother of Governor Francis Richard Lubbock (1815-1905).

Lubbock is 315 miles west of Fort Worth. and approximately equidistant, c. 120 miles, from Amarillo to the north via Interstate 27 and Midland on the south via U.S. Highway 87. Cotton is grown throughout the area. Lubbock is home to Texas Tech University, founded in 1923, and Lubbock Christian College, a Church of Christ-affiliated institution. There are also branch campuses of South Plains College, a community college, and Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas. The Texas Tech Museum encompasses the Lubbock Lake Landmark, an archeological exhibit, and the National Ranching Heritage Center, which has nearly fifty restored ranch buildings in an outdoor setting. From 1941 to 1996, the former Reese Air Force Base was located in Lubbock. The famous musician, Buddy Holly, killed in a plane crash in 1959, was from Lubbock, as is Scott Pelley, the CBS news anchorman.

On May 11, 1970, Lubbock sustained a deadly tornado in which twenty-six persons were killed, and property damage was estimated at $125 million. The Lubbock Metro Tower is believed to have been the tallest building, at 274 feet, ever to survive a direct hit from an F5 tornado. Then Mayor Jim Granberry and the Lubbock City Council, which included Granberry's successor as mayor, Morris W. Turner, directed the rebuilding of the downtown Lubbock in the aftermath of the storm.

The city has been politically conservative (it was rated the #2 most conservative city in America and the most conservative in Texas, notwithstanding the presence of a large public university) and has been represented in the U.S. House by three consecutive Republican members since 1985. It is the home of a large number of Christian churches of different denominations.

Former Queen City subdivision

Queen City was an historic African-American neighborhood which existed in East Lubbock from the 1930s to the early 1960s. With 1,150 residents in 275 homes and a few small businesses, including a grocery store, beauty shop, barber shop, and a "hotel" that was really a bawdy house and gambling den. Most of the houses were built from scrap lumber, tin, or cardboard. In its issue of February-March 1981, the African-American newspaper The Lubbock Digest, reported that some residents had leased “small, unfurnished dilapidated units renting from $30 or $50 per month.” Most of these "shotgun" houses, as they were called, were no larger than 288 square feet. Many of the structures had “sagging roofs, little or no foundations, flimsy and leaking walls, cracked and warped floors, dangerous wiring, little or no plumbing, and very little space.”[2]At first, bathroom accommodations were practically non-existent in Queen City until the city health department stepped in and ordered the landowners to close the “pit-type" facilities that served as restrooms. Landowners replaced them with commodes, which stood in privies at the end of a path outside the residences. No water lines existed in Queen City until the middle 1930s, and residents used kerosene lamps and wood and coal-burning stoves. Eventually natural gas, water, and electric lines were brought into the neighborhood.[2]

In its early years, Queen City was plagued with crime. In 1981, according to The Lubbock Digest, "almost one-fourth” of Queen City households received incomes “under $150 per month (1,310 in 2020 do0llars) with about 60 percent of the household income being under $225 per month (1,966 in 2020 dollars). Frustration and desperation may have spurred the crime wave. Still daily activities continued as children played in empty lots and on unpaved streets. On Sundays, many residents attended Methodist or Baptist churches in the Carver Heights subdivision, since renamed Chatman Heights. In 1932, an elementary school opened in Carver Heights, and in 1955, the private Mary and Mac Elementary School opened at 902 East 28th St. The school began with four and five-year olds. The first kindergarten commencement was held at the New Hope Baptist Church. Junior and senior high school students attended the historically black Dunbar High School.[2]

In the fall of 1960, Lubbock municipal officials began “slum clearance," and Queen City residents were forced to relocate. Developers built a cul-de-sac at the south end of Juniper Avenue with sidewalks in the southern half of the community, and encouraged new home construction. Federal aid financed the Coronado Apartments between East 28th and East 29th streets. The Lubbock Digest reported that Queen City had fallen apart. A week later the newspaper complained, “This is the worst case of reverse progress in Lubbock.”[2]

Developers rebuilt and renamed eight large buildings as the Spanish Oaks Apartments, and citizens reoccupied them for a time. Today Queen City consists of a few well-kept duplexes along Juniper Avenue. To the east are the abandoned Spanish Oaks Apartments and a deserted cul-de-sac sets on East 29th Street in a field of prairie dogs.[2]

See also

References

  1. Lubbock (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau. Geographic Identifiers. United States Census Bureau (2015). Retrieved on September 28, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 {{cite web|url=https://www.lubbockonline.com/news/20200306/caprock-chronicles-lubbocks-queen-city-neighborhood%7Ctitle=Caprock Chronicles: Lubbock's Queen City Neighborhood|author=Paul H. Carlson|publisher=The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal|date=March 6, 2020|accessdate=March 10, 2020}]