Brown County Communities
By Lorene Bishop
| Bangs | Blanket | Brookesmith | Early | May | Zephyr |


Bangs, Texas, located eight miles west of Brownwood, Texas on highway #67, has a population of about 1,800. It has a well organized town government , a bank, churches, businesses, and school.  The Gulf Colorado and Santa Fe built railroad tracks from Brownwood to San Angelo in 1886 and at the Bangs location a depot was built. A man by the name of Atchison opened a general store near- by in the same year.  He applied to the U. S. Post office Department for a post office to be established in his store and be given the name Atchison. There was already a post office by this name. The settlers decided that Bangs would be a good name for their town and the name was approved. A post office was approved May 24, 1886.  Samuel Bangs was the original owner of the land where the depot was built. He had been given the land by the state of Texas for his services as a printer during the Texas Revolution War. Samuel Bangs never saw the land.

The first school was established at this location in 1892. Prior to this time there were small schools districts in the area. One by one the districts consolidated and established one school. The present school district covers about 208 square miles, which includes some square miles into Coleman County. When school ended in May of 2002 there was an enrollment of 1096
on the three campuses.  Most of the residents of the Bangs district live on farms , ranches, on the shores of Lake Brownwood, in homes on small acreage. Many of the adults are employed in Brownwood.


In 1862 there were seven families arrived and settled in the area along a creek that had been named by a group of surveyors.  They found a group of Indians drying their blankets on the sumac bushes after a rain, thus named the creek Blanket Creek.

The first post office was established by Pinkney Anderson in his general store in 1875 and the name Blanket was chosen for the name of the post office, which opened on June 10, 1875.  When the Fort Worth Rio Grande (Frisco) Railroad built tracks and a depot 1 1/2 miles south of the Anderson store it was decided to move near the depot.

Blanket has survived the many changes of time.  Today the community life centers around the school. The school district covers about 90 square miles and at the end of school of Nay 2002 the enrollment was 253.


Brookesmith, Texas, located in the southeastern part of the county, is the only community that has a post office and a school that is not on a highway. It is two miles off highway # 377 between Brady and Brownwood, going to Brady .

In 190l the Fort Worth Rio Grande (Frisco) Railroad built tracks to Brady and a depot and a water tank was built to service the locomotive and for the comfort of the passengers. David Smith surveyed land near the depot for town lots and soon they were sold.  Businesses, churches, homes, and a post office was built.  The residents named their town Brookesmith for a businessman in Brownwood.  In 1903 a school was built and the small one-room schools began to consolidate with the Brookesmith school in order to have a high school.

Today the school district covers about 159 square miles, and includes some land in Mills County and has an enrollment of 196.


Early, Texas, is located four miles east of Brownwood and has a population of 2,588. The Pecan Bayou is the boundary line between the city of Brownwood and Early.

On December 31, 1951, voters in the Early school district voted to create a city. The city was to include 906 acres.  The purpose of creating a city was to have a better water and sewer system for residents across the bridge and to keep their school as an independent school district.

In 1929 five community schools had consolidated, built a school at the Y of Highways #183 and #377 and named their school for Waiter U. Early who had donated the land.  When the city government was organized all agreed that the town should be named Early and in a small building across the highway the city was organized.  A new city hall was built on the same site in 1982 and the Early Post office was opened in 1985.

The Early school system went from one campus to four and has an enrollment of 1269 at the end of school in May 2002. The Early school district includes about 85 square miles.

The city of Early is a fast growing city with new businesses, industries and new homes being built each year. The Heartland Mall and the Hollywood Theaters are within the Early City limits.


May, Texas is seventeen miles north of Brownwood on Highway 183.  At one time it was the second largest town in Brown County. Today the school district is the largest in the county, which covers about 212 square miles, which includes some square miles in Comanche County.

The first post office was opened on December 1, 1881 and was named for Nathan Lumpkin May.

Ranching and farming is a source of their income, however many of the residents are employed in Brownwood and other places. Through the years May has been known as the land of peanuts.

The May School is the center of the community life.  At the turn of the century many small schools were located within the May School district.  These schools changed boundaries and names for fifty years and at least there were 42 names and different locations for these schools.  About 22 schools were in session in a school term.


Zephyr, Texas, located 10 miles northeast of Brownwood on Highway #183 is a thriving town with a post office, businesses, fire department, churches and school.

The Zephyr Improvement Club has been an instrument in keeping a live and activity community.  Their fund raising projects have help to improve their town.  The Zephyr Quilting club is a well-known organization in the area.

Zephyr is another town in Brown County that was established as the result of the Santa Fe Railroad building a water tank and depot in the location.

A survey team who camped at the site named Zephyr.  A post office was opened on December 1886.

The School district is the smallest of the districts in Brown County.  There is about 74 square miles in the district, and includes some square miles in Mills County.  At the end of May 2002, the enrollment was 162.

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