Ponder, Texas 76259

Where the Heck is Ponder, Texas?!

I moved to Texas in September of 1993 and have lived in Denton, New Hope, and I have been in Ponder since March 1996. Yes, that really is the name of a town, population 432. If you’d like to know just where Ponder, Texas is, well, just think about it…

Ok, ok, I’ll tell ya!

Ponder is located on FM 156, between FM 2449 and SH 380. It’s north of Fort Worth, west of Denton, east of Decatur and south of Krum. And if you BLINK, you will miss it! (Unless you need gas and are looking for a Conoco station somewhere north of Drop or east of Stony.)

General Area MapPonder City MapMileage to Ponder from anywhere in Texas

Well, anyway, now that you’re here, let me show you around the town. Actually, if you stand on the corner of W. Bailey and Schaffner streets (between the Post Office and City Hall), you’ll see practically the whole town without ever taking a step.

Ponder General StoreRanchman’s Cafe a.k.a. “The Ponder Steakhouse”Ponder State BankPonder Feed Store and Ponder VeterinaryPonder Real Estate OfficePonder City HallBetty Foster Library of PonderPonder SchoolsEddie Deussen ParkPonder Post OfficePonder’s Three ChurchesPonder’s Twin Water TowersA Ponder SunsetPonder TourismMore Information on Ponder, TexasPonder On-LinePonder History

Ponder General Store

Your first stop in Ponder is usually to get gas or a soda, and then you discover you are in a town somewhere! The first store in Ponder was a 14×20 grocery built in 1893. “Cheapest grocery prices in Ponder!” That building is now gone, but the grocery prices are still the cheapest in Ponder. The current Ponder General Store is also the gas station, the laundromat, and a tiny sandwich cafe (for those who aren’t in a steak mood). We used to have an ATM machine…for about a month…but there aren’t enough people in Ponder to use it, so it was removed.

The first photo is the entire General Store “complex”. The second photo is of the Cleaners which no longer exists, it is merely an extension of the General Store, with just a couple of washers and dryers in the back. The third photo is the front of the General Store itself.

This is the view across the street from the front door of the General Store and includes the Ponder State Bank on the corner, next to FM 156. Next to the Bank, was the old Ponder Club (that tried to call itself the “Ponder Steakhouse” and failed…long story…) Now that building is a home, and also a custom furniture store. The white building next to that is a vacant garage, as near as I can tell.

Ranchman’s Cafe a.k.a. “The Ponder Steakhouse”

Best steaks in Texas, and some even say the world! You even have to make reservations for the baked potato! No kidding! Celebrities have eaten here: Cindy Crawford, Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty, Gene Autry, Lillian Carter (who bought the outhouse) and many others. Framed newspaper clippings are part of the interior decor touting its fame far and wide!


Don’t be fooled by the exterior! This is a MUST EAT HERE kind of place!…And here’s PROOF!


The mural above the Ranchman sign is at the top of this page. These are the two smaller side murals, the one on the left depicts a vintage car in the desert, and the one on the right is of a modern car, circa 1948 though the building itself was built in 1908.


This is the unchanged lunch counter and booth area of original 1948 restaurant, with the added-on dining room that was built in the late 70’s.

Ponder State Bank

This bank was featured in the 1966 movie “Bonnie and Clyde”, starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, and was actually robbed by them in real life. (Uh, by B and C, not the movie cast!) It’s no longer a bank, but has been preserved quite nicely as a historic site. Even the old barred teller windows are still there!

The Ponder Bank was built in 1908 and opened for business in 1910. It retained the same staff from 1910 until 1935, with the exception of one person. The bank was robbed in 1925 and 1932 and in 1935, the bank was voluntarily liquidated. An insurance and loan agency moved into it. The last recorded robbery of the building was in 1949. It is now someone’s home, and the bank’s vault is the location of the Ponder Boot Shop. (I’ll see if I can get some pictures of the inside for you!)

Ponder Feed Store and Ponder Veterinary

Think these two buildings were built by the same person? The veterinary is next to the school “complex” and the feed store is a short city block in front of it, on FM 156.

The veterinary clinic sits where the Ponder Rodeo Arena used to be in the 1950’s. The feed store is the picture on the right.

Ponder Real Estate Office

Yep, a real Sante Fe Railroad Caboose… The real Sante Fe Railroad is across the street, on the other side of FM 156, and is quite an active track. I just love hearing the lonely sound of a train whistle at night, don’t you?


Ponder City Hall

The municipal building was once a church, but now it houses both the city offices and the local library.


Betty Foster Library of Ponder

The library started out as a single room within the municipal building, and as it grew, walls to adjacent rooms were removed to allow it to expand. The tiny three-room library recently got accredited, thanks to the efforts of librarian, Betty Foster, of Stony. (If you think Ponder is small, check out Stony!)

Entering through the door into the first room, next is the second room and cataloging work area.

The third room is the TV lounge and storytelling room, and finally a view attempting to show all three of the current rooms from one vantage point.

And, of course, the library is never without its sense of humor!

Ponder Schools

This is the Christal-Burnett School House from the first Christal School District established in the 1800’s. This is not the original building, but a restoration of a replacement of the original that had been moved to its current location. It is no longer in use but is now a part of the Eddie Deussen Park.


…and they usually do!!

The elementary school and high school are next to each other in one “complex” just behind the City Hall. Classes are small, with no more than 20 students each, and it’s one of the best schools in the area (as I can attest to by showing you my property taxes!) For more information see the Ponder Independent School District website.


Take a virtual photo tour inside Ponder Elementary


Ponder High School complex.

Eddie Deussen Park

This little plot of land in front of the Christal School gets decorated for all sorts of reasons! Here is what it looks like at Christmas.

The entrance off FM 156 and the windmill that still works!

Ponderites want you to “Have a Moo-ry Christmas!” and Santa Claus riding in a buckboard wagon drawn by Texas Longhorn steers is sure to bring a smile even to ol’ Scrooge himself!

And of course, what Christmas display would be complete without the Nativity Scene?

Ponder Post Office

Yes, Ponder is large enough to have its own post office and its very own zipcode.

This building was Ponder’s Post Office from 1932 until 1990. It is across from the steakhouse, and was, most recently, a local artisan crafts and antique store, but it is now vacant and being used for storage. The above hand-cancel was applied in this very building.

The location of the Ponder Post Office has changed several times since 1893 and tracking the moves is like watching the action in a pinball machine:

It moved 80 feet NW of this building in 1917. Then 8 months later, in 1918, it moved 70 feet South. Then it moved 100 feet NE across the street to a brick building housing a mercantile store (no longer in existence). In 1932 it moved 160 feet South and 195 West to be within 405 feet of the railroad station. I’m not sure just which of these many locations is the above building, but I intend to find out.

In 1957, a restroom was finally installed in this old Post Office, and in 1969 the mail began coming to Ponder by truck, rather than by train.

This modern building built in 19??, looks out of place in this old dusty town, but fortunately it has been tucked off to the side, so it doesn’t clash too badly with the town’s image since it’s not really next to anything but a residence.

Ponder’s Three Churches

We have 3 churches, the Methodist Church and the Church of Christ are side by side, while the Baptist church is on the opposite side of town on FM 2449.

In 1893, twelve worshippers formed the community’s first organized church, Ponder Baptist Church. In 1896 they joined the Denton County Baptist Association, but in 1898 they changed their name to Ponder Baptist and moved their membership to Ponder. In 1902 they built a wooden sanctuary, and in 1945 it was remodeled, and then the old church was torn down in 1946. They were the first in the Denton County Baptist Association to have their own parsonage. It was a house that was purchased in 1950 and then moved into town.

In 1902, fifteen people formed the Methodist Church. The first building was torn down and this one replaced it in 1930.

In 1923, about twenty five people formed the Church of Christ. The first meetings were held in a tent. This church was built in 1926.

Ponder’s Twin Water Towers

Yes, we have TWO water towers, side by side. It’s a long story…and only the larger one is in use. But, at least you can find our town if you are lost somewhere in the landscape, or are traveling by hot-air balloon.

The small water tower was built in 1979, while the larger one was built during 1996-7.

The first water that Ponder had was a shallow well that is in the middle of Bailey Street, now covered with cement and a flagpole.

A Ponder Sunset

Ya gots to see it ta believe it!!

This is what a sunset can look like from my own front porch.

Ponder Tourism

As you can probably guess by now, we don’t have much tourism. Well, we *thought* there would be a lot when the Texas Motor Speedway went in last summer about 15 miles south…but, other than the first day of races, it’s been a bust for Ponder, thanks to the way law enforcement routes the traffic on race days. Mostly the town is frequented by folks who already know it exists, curious folks who have heard of it, and others who have gotten lost…which is how *I* found it when I moved here!

I recently discovered a local ham radio operator who contacts other hams all over the U.S. and occasionally outside the U.S. and he says there are many Morse code operators in the U.S. who know where Ponder is located. So Ponder is well known throughout every state!

And now you know about it, too!

And there you have it! I’ll be adding better pictures as I get them, and more Ponder history as I gather it, but for now, you’ll just have to enjoy what I have so far!

Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?

More Information on Ponder, Texas

Key to the City – Some statistics about PonderPonder, Texas – A few addresses, but not much else.Ponder Independent School District- Lots of community information!Eakins Cemetery RecordsDenton County Postal HistoryHistorical Society of Denton County – trust this info before you trust mine!

Books About Ponder, Texas

Bishop, Katie. Eakins Cemetery. 1956.

Wright Cullum, Carla Nell, writer/compiler. Eakins Cemetery Denton County Texas:

It’s value as a Historical Landmark. Eakins Cemetery Association.

Seals, Nita. Ponder The Little Town With The Big Rodeo. Spine title: Ponder Rodeo. 1985. Gainesville Printing Company, Gainesville, TX.Yarbrough, Fannie M. History of Ponder. 1980.

Ponder On-Line


Riding Unlimited – Therapeutic Riding for the DisabledSunrise Hill Farms, Miniature HorsesRocking ND, Paints in Ponder

Businesses in Ponder

Ponder Boot CompanyLegend Conversions- Automotive, VansDoug’s Appliance RepairDoc Holliday Fan Jam – annual event sponsored by Galt Mobile Home ServiceArgus Inc. – Customer-support, computer systems personnelJimmy Newton, Keller Williams RealtyRanchman’s Cafe Review and MenuRanchman’s Cafe – future websiteSyracuse Sausage- under constructionJay-Dar Enterprises- future websiteMatol Botanical Distributor – KM distributor

Humor written by Ponderites

Pinky and the Brain ponder Ponder – Cute mini-script about Ponder, written by me.EROS & THE PINEAL-The Layman’s Guide to Cerebral Solitaire Written by Ponderite, Albert MostAnd if your surname happens to BE “Ponder”, here’s a geneology forumPonder Geneology Forum

Texas is neither Southern nor Western. Texas is Texas.–William Blakley

I am forced to conclude that God made Texas on his day off, for pure entertainment, just to prove that all that diversity could be crammed into one section of earth by a really top hand.–Mary Lasswell

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