Latitude / Longitude:
35° 41′ 14.71″ N, 101° 21′ 4″ W
Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Phillips is a ghost town in Hutchinson County, United States. It was founded as Pantex, Texas. In 1938 Pantex and Whittenburg combined. The combined town was renamed Phillips for the dominant employer, the Phillips Petroleum Company by a vote of the people. The American actress Mary Castle lived in Phillips as a girl and attended junior high school there. State Senator and former president of West Texas A&M University Max Sherman was reared in Phillips and graduated from Phillips High School.
A hydrocarbon explosion at the refinery in 1980 obliterated part of the industrial area and some nearby homes. Damages were estimated to be in the millions. After a long battle between the citizens of Phillips, M&M Cattle Company and later Phillips 66, the town was permanently closed to residency, at the request of Phillips 66 Oil Company. The homes themselves were owned but the land they sat upon was property of two local ranchers who leased the land originally to the Oil Company and later to the home owners. After the explosion, the Oil Company purchased the land from the ranches and forced the homeowners to move. Most would say the real reason the plant wanted the homeowners out of the area was not based on safety, but the fact the oil company was paying close to a million dollars a year in school taxes and wanted the school closed. But this is refuted as the taxes are paid to the Plemons-Stinnett-Phillips CISD. In 1987 three great schools and communities, Plemons, Stinnett and Phillips joined forces to create the Plemons-Stinnett-Phillips Consolidated independent School District. Three mascots, the Plemons Indians, Stinnett Rattlers and the Phillips Blackhawks were blended together to create the Comanches. The campuses of the district, West Texas Elementary School, West Texas Middle School and West Texas High School are all united as Comanches. Therefore, many homes were moved to areas nearby (Borger, Stinnett, and Fritch). The homes that were not moved were leveled.
Today, the high school is one of the few buildings left and is used for business by the Phillips 66 Refinery.
In the 1950s and 1960s, improved highways and transportation resulted in many businesses and people moving to Borger. By 1980, the population had dropped to about 2,500.