Matador is a town in and the county seat of Motley County, Texas, United States. The population was 740 at the 2000 census. In 1891, it was established by and named for theMatador Ranch. It is located ninety-five miles east of Lubbock, Texas.
Location of Matador, Texas
|Coordinates: 34°0′50″N 100°49′18″W|
The Matador Ranch was consolidated in 1882 by a Scottish syndicate, and a post officeopened at Matador in 1886.
At the end of the 19th century, townspeople freed the community from domination by the Matador Ranch, which was liquidated in 1951, by relocating non-ranch families there and electing their own slate of officials.
The community was incorporated in 1912 and made the county seat. The state required that a town have at least twenty businesses. Local ranch hands hence established fraudulent, temporary businesses using ranch supplies. The only real business in Matador at the time was a saloon.
Its highest population, 1,302, was reached in 1940.
Originally the Carter Hotel, the Hotel Matador was built in 1914 by Roy Carter and his wife, the former Jessie Simpson. For a rural area, the hotel had luxurious rooms with a bell hop, a full-time gardner, and laundry service. It had fifteen rooms, a dining room, and a large nine-foot, oak-rimmed tub as the only bathroom in the facility. An ice cream parlor which ran the length of the lobby operated until the 1920s.
The name "Hotel Matador" was coined in the 1920s. The hotel changed owners several times. Under the direction of Judge C.B. Whitten, it was a community gathering place for meetings, parties, and dances for young people. In 1941, hotelier and barber Warren Clements purchased the property. He turned the ice cream parlor into a barber shop. He also established living quarters for himself and his wife, Faye, with an apartment behind the hotel. Mrs. Clements maintained an English garden known for her prize iris, and under her tutelage, the hotel was known for its entertainment.
In 1980, Johnny (Sonny) and Evelyn Jackson purchased the hotel and restyled it into apartments. It later became a single residence but had been abandoned for five years when the current owners took possession and began reclaiming and restoring the historic facility. Three sisters, Marilyn Hicks, Linda Roy, and Caron Perkins, operate the Matador as an eight-unit bed and breakfast. The barber shop was converted to the Circle Cross Heritage suite, with the original tin ceiling and elaborate bathroom fixtures.
Albert Carroll Traweek, Sr. (1875–1959) was a physician in Matador, originally from Fort Worth, known as the "Pneumonia doctor" for his success in treating patients with that sometimes fatal illness. He was the first Motley County public health officer and established the Traweek Hospital, now the Motley County Historical Museum. In 1915, Dr. Traweek began construction on the Traweek Home, designed by Charles Stephen Oates, Traweek's uncle and a noted builder in West Texas. The two-story stuccoed masonry structure was completed in 1916 at a cost of $14,000. It is a hybrid of Classical Renaissance, Prairie, and Classical Revival architecture.
Among the visitors to the Traweek House was Baldwin Parker, a son of Quanah Parker, the lastComanche chief, as well as state and national officials. The house at 927 Lariat Street in Matador remains in the Traweek family. It received an official historical medallion in 1964 and was designated in 1990 as a Texas Historic Landmark. Dr. Traweek and his wife, the former Allie Rainey, had six children. The house was last occupied by their youngest son, Howard Traweek (1912–1988), the county attorneyfor five decades, and his wife, the former Eleanor Mitchell (1922–1998).