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The Community of Comyn

By Glenda Stone

Situated on farm to market road 1496 about 5 miles east of DeLeon, Comanche County, Texas is the community of Comyn. The once thriving town is now mainly a peanut farming community. Gone is the depot, gone is the store, gone is the post office, and gone is the school.

Originally known as Theney, the town was named for W.F. Catheney who established a trading post there in the 1870s. The trading post and the ensuing community came to be called “Theney”, short for Catheney.

In 1881 the Texas Central Railroad was extended through Theney and a depot was built. M.T. Comyn, a railroad official, had the name of the town changed to Comyn The school remained Theney. In 1924 Theney Consolidated School was formed and was an outstanding high school. For almost thirty more years the Theney School remained an integral part of the community.

The coming of the Texas Central railroad brought the arrival of several general stores, a post office, drug store, blacksmith shop, lumber yard, cotton gin, café, barber shop, and a Woodmen of the World meeting hall. One of the early settlers of the nearby Jones Crossing area was the B.F. Barnes family, great grandfather of the former Lt. Governor of Texas, Ben Barnes, who was raised in Comyn-Theney.

Some of the early postmasters of Theney as listed in the book Frontier Postmasters, by Homer Stephen were: Margaret E. Decker, May 2, 1894; John F. Stokley, July 30, 1895; William S. Huffman, October 24, 1902; Charles L. Dry, January 22, 1904; John F. Stokley, October 22, 1904; Benjamin F. Barnes, March 7, 1907. The mail changed to Comyn, June 3, 1909 with the postmasters being: Benjamin F. Barnes, June 3, 1909; William F. Thompson, July 21, 1920; Bud L. Painter, December 9, 1922.

The 1917 oil boom resulted in the Humble Oil Company laying a pipeline from Comyn to Houston and building a large tank farm in Comyn. A few years later Humble laid a pipeline to the Permian Basin. Tent houses sprang up everywhere during this period of construction, and disappeared when the construction was completed.

The population of Comyn began to decline with the closing of the Humble tank farm because of declining oil reserves. Because of this decline the school closed its doors in 1952. The General store and post office were torn down in 1969. A historical marker was placed at the store and post office location in 1969 and another at Jones Crossing on the Leon River, originally a crossing for wagon teams traveling from Comyn to Brownwood.

Today most of the remaining tanks are used for peanut storage. A peanut processing and storage plant was built in 1974 by W.E. Shell on the site of the Humble tank farm. Now the Comyn Community consists of peanut farming families, the Shell peanut processing plant, the Comyn Baptist Church, and the cemetery.

“Community of Comyn-Theney”, Texas Historical Marker, 1969.

“Comyn or Theney”, Henry Chenoweth.

Heritage Division of Comanche County Bicentennial Committee. Patchwork of Memories, 1976.

Stephen, Homer. The Frontier Postmasters, 1952.