Breckenridge, Texas “The Mural Capital of Texas” And Texas & National Main Street City.
**Suggested starting point is the free parking lot behind the “Old Texaco Station” at 104 N. Breckenridge Avenue, part of the restoration project of The National Theatre Complex by the Friends of Historic Breckenridge.
About the Artists
The large historic murals on the walls of numerous buildings in Breckenridge were painted by talented artist Billy Ines. The murals were inspired by the black and white photographs of eccentric and prolific photographer, Basil Clemons, who came to Breckenridge during the 1920’s oil boom when the population soared to 30,000. He took thousands of wonderful photographs — photographs of buildings, parades and people — people doing everything. Much of his work is now being preserved at the University of Texas at Arlington and at the Swenson Memorial Museum located at 116 West Walker Street in Breckenridge.
Mural #1 @ 109 North Baylor “The Alex Arnest Kime Mural” honors owner of the 1920’s Nash dealership originally housed in this building. It features Mr. Kime standing by a Nash with a 1937 Nash LaFoyette on the left and a 1965 Rambler Marlin on the right.
Mural #2 @ 100 E. Walker “The Dynamo of West Texas” inspired by a 1926 photo by Basil Clemons. Included was the Sager Hotel, which originally stood on this corner. Also shown is the stacks of Thurber bricks ready to be laid on Breckenridge streets.
Mural #3 @ East Walker and Merrill St. “Where Horses Ride in Fords” from a 1927 photograph by Mr. Clemons. Mr. Claude Squyres purchased a horse & a Shetland pony in the Crystal Falls area. On the way home the pony tired so the children, Margie & J.C. Squyres piled in front and the Shetland pony was put in the backseat.
Mural #4 @ 139 W. Walker St. “Howdy from Breckenridge: The Dynamo of West Texas.” This oversized greeting was inspired by an old postcard. Included is the Breckenridge High School mascot, “the Buckaroo.” Broken mirror on the surface is a specialty of mural artist Billy Ines. The mirror catches the light and the attention of visitors from the east and serves as a welcome sign.
Mural #5 @ 100 S. Court “Spirit of the Buckaroo” inspired by a play called “The Wing” from a 1924 football game between the Breckenridge Buckaroos and the Cisco Lobos was painted in honor of Jim Wilkerson, former BISD Superintendent and Frances Wilkerson, his wife and a former teacher. It features old BHS and BJHS.
Mural #6 @ 221 W. Walker. “1999 Junior Main Street Mural” is of a 1929 B.P.O.E. parade down Walker Street. Represented are buildings that stood on this block before being destroyed by a fire. Jr. Main Street is a community-oriented group of 7th & 8th grade students who serve as liaison between the Breckenridge Public Schools and the Community Development/Main St. Department.
Mural #7 @ 109 North McAmis “Spirit of Justice” depicts the long-gone 1883 Stephens County Courthouse. An inset depicts the “Lady of Justice” that stood atop the building.
Mural #8 @ 100 Block of South Baylor and East Williams. This mural was a co-op between all the active brand owners in Stephens County and the building owner. Ranching (a huge part of the county’s history) was what the group desired to be represented. The brand was required to be active in the county at the time it was painted. The idea for artwork was a collaborative effort between the artist, Debra Warr, and the Community Development Design Committee.