Exploring our Assets: Commonwealth in Borger, TX

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by Melaine Bugg

Painting on the wall

Borger Texas is in South Central Hutchinson County, in the Texas Panhandle, at the junction of state Highways 136,152, and 207.  Founded in 1926, by A.P. “Ace” Borger, after oil was discovered in the area. Ninety days after Borger was established, it was busting at the seams with 45,000 residents. Having a three-mile-long main street, it was the inspiration for Thomas Hart Benton’s painting “Boomtown”. It was rough in the early days of Borger and the governor of Texas sent in the Texas Rangers and state troops to impose martial law for one month.  

Borger Texas Main Street
Boomtown by Thomas Hart Benton

But the days of lawlessness are over. AS of the 2020 census, Borger has a population of 12,640 residents. Just like most towns, we have restaurants, grocery stores, and a Walmart. On Friday evenings in the Summer there is a Farmer’s Market that sells fresh produce, hand made items, and pork from a farm in a neighboring community. There are several local churches that offer food help for families that need assistance; Living Water, Helping Hands, and the Salvation Army also help with food and other things like clothing, household items, and help with bills.

We have a newish hospital, several doctor’s offices, and places that offer mental health services. There are also many denominational and non-denominational churches here in town for any spiritual needs that you may need. Some offer grief groups and AA meetings.

Borger is very lucky that we have a community college right here in town. Frank Phillips College is a two-year community college that not only offers all the basic courses that you will need for a transfer to a four-year university, but also has several vocational degree and certificate programs. “Fun Fact: I just graduated from Frank Phillips in May.” Frank Phillips also does a lot of the safety training for industrial companies here. “Fun Fact: For my internship I was able to take my safety training for SERCO at the college.” The teachers and staff are very nice and know their stuff. We also have schools for grades Pre-K to 12 through Borger ISD. “Fun Fact: When my daughter starts High School this August, she will be the 4th generation in my family to attend Borger High School in that building.” Borger ISD and Frank Phillips College work together so that students in High school can take classes at Frank Phillips College and graduate with their associates at the same time they graduate from High School.

Frank Phillips College
Borger High School

There are places for leisure and shopping. We have a couple of coffee shops, several boutiques, and small businesses. We have a very nice downtown that has restaurants, a gym, and other small businesses. We have a youth center that has a swimming pool, a basketball court, and offers frisbee golf. There is a nature trail that you can follow just behind the youth center. There is also an indoor pool and gym in the Borger Community Activity Center at the college. We have a nice movie theater that has several screens for different movies to be shown.

About 15 miles southwest of Borger is the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area. Lake Meredith is not only a place for fun and fishing, along with the Ogallala Aquifer, Lake Meredith is a major source of water for Borger. There is also lots of wildlife that live in the area. You can hunt, fish, camp, off road, hike, and enjoy the Alibates Flint Quarries.  

Lake Meredith
Wildlife at the lake

One of the major things that makes Borger and why it was founded, are the oil and gas industry. We have several refineries and carbon black plants. We also have a fertilizer plant and a plastics plant. Many of these companies are global companies, most of these plants share infrastructure and resources like rail, talent, utilities, and natural resources. Many people are employed by these companies and other companies that support them. Most of these companies also help in the community. “Fun Fact: I was able to have an online certification course through the college because of a grant from one of the refineries.”

One of the refineries here in Borger

I have lived most of my life in Borger, and it has a lot to offer. But the most important thing about Borger is the people. They are nice and most are hardworking normal everyday people. And you just cannot get any better than that.