Open 7 Days a Week for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
The Bennett Family's SmokeStack Restaurant: Serving Texas-Style Comfort Food Since 1971 in Thurber, Texas.
Open Sunday-Thursday 7am-9pm :: Friday and Saturday 7am-10pm
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Growth of a Company Town

Named for H.K. Thurber, an investor in the Texas & Pacific Coal Company, Thurber, Texas started to grow under the leadership of Robert D. Hunter, who developed 7 of 15 mines. More than 200 houses, a large general store, drugstore, hardware store, boarding houses, offices, stables, schools, and churches were built in the first year to accommodate the workers from all over the world who came to the new town for jobs in the mines.

  Knox Hotel
The T&P Coal Company owned the mines where the men worked; the houses in which they lived; the saloons where they drank beer, wine and whiskey; the stores where their families shopped, and the churches and schools that they attended.

Thurber was never incorporated; there was no mayor or city council, no school or city taxes, and workers rode in railway coach cars to their jobs before the turn of the century. Utopia? Many considered Hunter a tyrant who set up his own serfdom to rule every aspect of workers' lives. No one moved to Thurber, or even stayed there, except by consent of the company.

Hunter opposed labor unions, telling employees, "I'll run my business or will run it to Hell!" It was only after his death in 1902 that unions were organized in Thurber.

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Exit 367 on I-20


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