Main Births etc
Lamesa, Texas
—  City  —
Lamesa welcome sign on U.S. Highway 87
Motto: Together, Progress with a Purpose
Location of Lamesa, Texas
Coordinates: 32°44′4″N 101°57′29″W / 32.73444, -101.95806Coordinates: 32°44′4″N 101°57′29″W / 32.73444, -101.95806
Country United States
State Texas
County Dawson
 • Mayor Dave Nix
 • Total 4.8 sq mi (12.4 km2)
 • Land 4.8 sq mi (12.4 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 2,992 ft (912 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 9,952
 • Density 2,080.8/sq mi (803.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 79331
Area code(s) 806
FIPS code 48-41164[1]
GNIS feature ID 1339590[2]

Lamesa water tower

Lamesa City Hall

A view of downtown Lamesa

Entrance to Dal Paseo Museum in Lamesa, located in a former hotel

Lamesa campus of Howard College, a community college based in Big Spring

The Sky-Vue Drive-in Theater in Lamesa has operated since 1948.

No longer in use, the Tower Theater is located in downtown Lamesa across from the Dawson County Courthouse.

Lamesa Press Reporter newspaper office

First Baptist Church of Lamesa at 801 S 1st St.

Lamesa ( /ləˈmisə/ lə-MEE-sə)[3] is a city in and the county seat of Dawson County, Texas, United States.[4] The population was 9,422 at the 2010 census. Located south of Lubbock on the Llano Estacado, Lamesa was founded in 1903. Most of the economy is based on cattle ranching and cotton farming. The Preston E. Smith prison unit, named for the former governor of Texas, is located just outside of Lamesa.[5]

Notable people[]

  • Barry Corbin, though usually associated with Lubbock, where he graduated from Monterey High School, was born in 1940 in Lamesa. 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.
  • Kilmer Blaine Corbin, Sr., the father of Barry Corbin, was a judge and a Democratic member of the Texas State Senate from 1949-1957. He was unseated in the 1956 primary by Preston Smith. Corbin, Sr., lived in Lamesa prior to relocating to Lubbock.[6]
  • Steve Pearce, Republican U.S. Representative from New Mexico's 2nd congressional district, 2003-2009 and since 2011.
  • Preston Smith, a Democrat, served as governor of Texas 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 careers from Lubbock.
  • Edward R. Tinsley, a Lamesa native, is a rancher and the chairman of the board of K-Bob's Steakhouse, a regional restaurant chain primarily in Texas and New Mexico, with an outlet in Lamesa. In 2008, Tinsley, a former intraparty rival of U.S. Representative Steve Pearce, was the unsuccessful GOP nominee for the then open seat in the New Mexico 2nd congressional district.[7]
  • V. O. Key, preeminent political scientist and expert on Southern politics of the early to mid-20th century
  • Bo Robinson, NFL player


Lamesa is located at 32°44′4″N 101°57′29″W / 32.73444, -101.95806 (32.734439, -101.958190).[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12 km2), all of it land.

Dal Paso Museum[]

Dal Paso 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 on the table land of the Staked Plains. 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.[9]


As of the census[1] of 2000, 9,952 people, 3,696 households, and 2,679 families resided 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 per square mile (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. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 52.96% of the population.

Of 3,696 households, 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 not families. About 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 distributed as 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 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.

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


  • During the last weekend of April, Lamesa hosts the annual Chicken-fried Steak Cook-off. Lamesa has been called "the birthplace of the chicken-fried steak, but the reporter who made the designation later confessed that the claim is fictional. Nevertheless in 2011, Governor Rick Perry declared Lamesa the home of the chicken-fried steak. In the 2013 competition, Lamesa Mayor Dave Nix teamed with city councilman Greg Hughes as contestants. The community event attracted 65 sponsors and 104 booths.[10]
  • 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).[11]
  • Lamesa's Sky-Vue Drive-In Theater (established in 1948) is well-known regionally. It is one of only 14 remaining drive-in theaters in Texas. Others are in Lubbock and Clarendon. Before he became famous, musician Buddy Holly performed on the roof of the Sky Vue's projector building.[12] The theater was also used as cover art and named in the title of country music album Down At The Sky-Vue Drive-In by country music artist Don Walser. Additionally, track #2 Hot Rod Mercury from the album sings about life in Lamesa.
  • Lamesa also has an indoor movie theater, Movieland, which has two screens.
  • The Wall is an edifice on which graduating seniors of Lamesa High School spray-paint their names onto the wall until next year's class adds its own graffiti on top.
  • The CBS television series Dallas had one of its more profitable oil wells, Ewing 23, in Lamesa. In one of the more dramatic scenes of the series, in season four, 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 Ewing.[13]


The city is served by a biweekly newspaper, The Lamesa Press Reporter, which charges $.75 per issue, and by local and area radio stations KPET (AM 690), KBKN (FM), KTXC (FM), and KJJT (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, Telemundo and CW stations in Lubbock and the Univision station in the Permian Basin (Midland-Odessa).[14]


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Lamesa has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.[15]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Texas State Historical Association. "Texas Almanac Pronunciation Guide". Texas Almanac. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ Texas Department of Criminal Justice Retrieved on 2007-11-08
  6. ^ Barry Corbin Official Site Retrieved on 2007-11-08
  7. ^ "”Pearce (Open-NM-2)”". Retrieved July 8, 2009. 
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  9. ^ Texas Transportation Commission, Texas State Travel Guide, 2007, p. 123
  10. ^ "Chris Hoff, "Chicken Fried Steak Festival keeps growing", April 27, 2013". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  11. ^ Dallas, Season four DVD, Episode eight, "Trouble at Ewing 23".
  12. ^ "Drive In Movies in Texas".
  13. ^ Dallas, Season four, Episode eight, "Trouble at Ewing 23".
  14. ^ FCC Retrieved on 2007-11-08
  15. ^ Climate Summary for Lamesa, Texas

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