From Sweetwater we now head 30 miles north to the small town of Rotan (population 1,500) in Fisher County.
Fisher County was not organised until 1886 but a small community, known as White Flat because of the white Gypsum sand in the area, had already emerged on this site before that date.
In 1906 the Texas Central Railroad made White Flat the western terminus of its line and the the townsite was laid out properly. An application to open a post office found that the name White Flat was already in use, so the town was renamed Rotan after Ed Rotan, one of the investors in the railway.
1923 saw the opening of the Rotan Gypsum Plant, which eventually became one of the country’s largest such facilities. The plant helped the town to grow and its population reached its highpoint of over 3,000 in 1950, although nnumbers have declined steadily ever since.
Our tune today is a rodeo song. It seems that the injuries suffered by the rodeo rider are not just physical ones. Is this rodeo as a metaphor for life ?
“Watching the sun coming up, somewhere here just south of Rotan
There ain’t a place I ain’t hurting, I think this time I broke my hand
Got caught in the rope down in Houston
But that wasn’t half as bad as Rotan
She never told me the reason
She said ‘Goodbye, rodeo man’ ”