Junction, the county seat of Kimble County, is located at the intersection of Highways 83/377 and Intersate 10. It is named for its location at the confluence of the North and South Llano rivers. Junction was founded in the spring of 1876 following the organization of Kimble County in January of that year. It was originally named "Denman" after its surveyor, but became "Junction City" in 1877 and then simply "Junction" in 1894. Junction City won the role of county seat from Kimbleville in late 1876, after the first county court session. Kimbleville was an unsuccessful settlement probably because it was subject floods.
By 1879, Junction City had a drugstore, a livery stable, a sawmill, and more than one general store. The post office was established in 1876 and was moved from a private residence to the town square in 1879. Kimble County's first newspaper, the West Texas, was published in Junction in 1882.
The county courthouse was ereceted in 1878 but bured down in 1884 destroying all county records. The old courthouse was replaced by a two-story stone building that also met the misfortune fire and was partially destroyed in 1888. The damage was repaired and the building was used until the present courthouse was built in 1929.
Businessman Ernest Holecamp provided the city's first waterworks with a canal dug from the South Llano River to Junction in 1895. In 1896 a dam was built on the South Llano River to provide power and water to the city as well as irrigation to surrounding lands. "Four Mile Dam," a more permanent and extensive dam and irrigation system, was completed in 1904. The "Four Mile Dam" is now privately owned and has been destroyed by nature over the years.
Junction had a population of 536 in 1900; 8,090 in 1810; and 1250 in 1920. Between 1910 and 1920 the automobile came to town. The first filling stations opened around 1916 or 1917. By the early 1920s the livery stable had closed.
Also in the early 1920s, Junction had graveled its streets and installed electric street lights. By the Mid 1920s good highway connections with San Angelo and Menard were available.
Junction had Baptist, Christian, Episcopal, and Methodist Episcopal churches by 1881, when the latter was organized by Methodist circuit rider Andrew Jackson Potter. A Catholic church and a Church of Christ had come to Junction by 1933. By 1930 the town had incorporated, and the United States census of that year listed its population as 1,415. Junction was the chief shipping and commercial center of Kimble County, as well as a tourist resort and hunting center. In the mid-1940s the cedar-oil business developed and enhanced the economy, but the city's growth slowed. The population was 1,464 in 1950 and 2,593 in 1980.
Junction continues to be the shipping and marketing center for Kimble County's livestock, wool, mohair, pecan, and grain production. It is also the hunting center for one of the state's leading deer-hunting counties. The town's other economic foundations include pecan processing, tourism, and a cedar-oil plant. Texas Tech University Center, a branch of Texas Tech University, is located in Junction. The center is equipped to accommodate large and small student groups and offers both graduate and undergraduate courses.
Public school students are transported by bus from all parts of the county to the Junction school district whose website can be visited at www.junctionisd.net.
The Kimble County Library, Kimble Hospital, and the Kimlbe Care Center are also housed in Junction. Major celebrations in Junction include the Rodeo and Parade as well as the Annual Junction High School Ex's Reunions in August and the Kimble Kow Kick in September.
In 1990 the population was 2,654. That figure fell slightly to 2,638 in 2005.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: John Clements, Flying the Colors: Texas, a Comprehensive Look at Texas Today, County by County (Dallas: Clements Research, 1984) Ovie Clark Fisher, It Occurred in Kimble (Houston: Anson Jones Press, 1937) Frederica Burt Wyatt, "Kimble County," Stalkin' Kin, May 1976.