Cleo Texas

Hill Country Documentary Project

The crossroads community that became Cleo was started by an enterprising gentleman named Thomas Riggs when he obtained a post office commission in 1880. However postal service was discontinued after some years in favor of Junction Texas a larger town 10-15 miles away. At that time there were may have been around thirty residents living on nearby farms and ranches.

It must have been difficult for people to travel for miles to get mail and telegrams so postal service was reestablished in 1915. The post office and general store operating from the same premises, remained open until closing permanently in 1974. At that time the population was between fifty and eighty people.

Cleo sits on a quite county road having been bypassed by the US highway connecting the county seat with interstate 10. The 2000 census reported the population as three individuals. On my first trip to photograph Cleo in 2013 there were still three or four people living on a ranch next to the old post office. They were no longer there on my last visit a few weeks ago. However the post office/general store building and proprietors residence were being restored. Most of the surrounding property is now used for recreation and hunting. Perhaps there is another life for the old general store supplying goods for weekend residents.


Author: Ken

Avid photographer and old guy technologist.