Tour Guide  Highway 80 Tour     Locate on map
In the days before divided, four-lane interstate highways, roads, 
such as U.S. Highway 80, were the major thoroughfares between 
towns. It crossed the southern sector of the United States from 
Savannah to San Diego, passing through Ranger along the way. 
Naturally when it was carrying many people right through town, 
businesses (not restricted to motels, service stations, and 
restaurants) lined its sides.

Ranger Hill Cafe
Climbing up Ranger Hill the first evidence of town would have 
been the Ranger Hill Truck Stop, where a Texaco service station, 
a cafe, stone-faced motel cabins, and the relatively new Ranger 
Drive-in Movie Theater were all clustered. 

Ranger Drive-In
Herbert Rapp was the owner and builder of the Ranger Drive-in
as well as the downtown Tower movie theater. On Tuesdays, 
dollar-per-car night, the drive-in would be full. A special 
attraction during intermission was the local teenaged boys' 
band called the Teddie Bears, headed by lead singer Teddie 
Neeley, who would climb up on the roof of  the snack shack 
and entertain. Another popular scene was the Old West town 
built at the base of the screen, where kids could play.

Frigid Queen
One Dairy Queen-like establishment with its unique and probably 
unintentionally humorous name was the Frigid Queen, known 
affectionately by many teens as The Fridge. It was operated
by O.L. Justice for many years.

Ranger Livestock Austion barn
On north side of the highway and west of the Frigid Queen 
was the Ranger Livestock Auction Barn. 

F & R Service Station
The F & R Service Station on the corner of Tiffin Road may no 
longer be well remembered, but it does call back a time when a 
dollar was a dollar. Near the Tiffin Road turnoff as the highway 
turned more in a southerly direction was Wheat’s Auto Parts on 
the north side, a Sinclair service station adjacent to a car 
dealership on the south side.
Elliott Ford

Porkey Pig
Across the road was a mainstay for young families, the Porkey Pig
in a small, steep-roofed building with an enlarged neon-outlined 
image of the cartoon character. One could rely on friendly service
from the carhops for hamburgers, fries, and other essential food

Ratliff's Feed & Seed Store
Just before the intersection where a right turn would take the
driver onto Main Street was Ratliff’s Feed and Seed Store, where
Purina brand was sold. The block behind the feed store housed
Tom Hamilton's practical blacksmith shop, where much more than
horseshoeing could be done. Across the street was Matthews Oil
Field Supply. Back on the highway came another service station
(Morris Campbell, once under the banner of Humble).  Predating
the traffic light at this juncture with the highway was a cluster
of businesses that included Swoveland’s Cafe. Then there was a 
Gulf service station (Curtis Blackwell). Before Prairie Crossing 
Chick Ussery built the first motel in Ranger. 

Laws Premier Station
Law's Premier Station was located near Blackwell Road on the old Hwy. 
80. Next door was an auto repair shop, which later became a bait house.

Ogden's Laundry
Ogden’s Laundry was on the northeast corner of the intersection. 
Through the years it would undergo a number of updates in machinery 
and efficiency. Another service station was on the opposite corner. 

To the west across the tracks was the new rodeo arena promoted by
the Ranger Jaycees and scene of Rodeo Cowboy Association-sanctioned 
events for many years. 

El Rancho
Then on the east side was built the modern motel and cafe known as 
El Rancho. 

Jacoby's Welding Shop & home
Then came the welding shop and home of Max Jacoby.  He had an oil field
supply business on Eastland Hill and later moved to this location.  One 
of his handyworks was the spinning metal top at the Ranger swimming pool. 

Ranger Junior College
Less than a block off the road was the old Cooper School, which 
became the new home of Ranger Junior College. Lots of modifications 
to the campus would take place in the next several years, including 
the demolition of the Cooper building. With the passage of time 
business would shift farther south to an exit on I-20 where a motel, 
a Love’s Truck Stop, and a Dairy Queen ushered in a new era in Ranger 

The drive around Ranger’s business district has passed by several 
churches. Those not mentioned earlier included were St. Rita’s 
Catholic, a red brick edifice with a round bell tower. Years ago 
just south of the church was a white wooden building that served 
as a school attended by a number of Ranger children. This building 
was later moved to the college campus and used as a dormitory for 
female students and named for Mary Frances Jameson. It no longer 

Looking back over our shoulder toward what was often called the 
hospital hill, we can see the large water tower overlooking the 
town and just below its base the community hospital known as 
Ranger General.  It occupied a prominent spot in the life of 
Ranger for a number of years. As it became somewhat dated, the 
board decided to relocate and to build a new facility on Highway 
80 near the city limits sometime in the 70's. This new hospital 
would never accomplish its purpose and was eventually sold to 
the junior college, who converted it into a combination dormitory/
training facility for the athletic department.

Other churches were the Church of the Nazarene (no longer standing) 
a block east of Ratliff’s store and the Eastside Baptist Mission 
(across from the Young School) that later became a separate 
congregation. On the Caddo Highway (North Austin) stood the 
Pentecostal church that had originally been in the country near 
Bullock. The Church of Christ has stood at the corner of Rusk 
and Mesquite for many years. In recent years a new Church of 
Christ congregation formed, calling itself  the Eastside Church 
of Christ.  It is located at the intersection of Young Street 
and Strawn Road. 

In the days prior to either big chain groceries or little chain 
convenience stores, the concept of small neighborhood mom and pop 
groceries were evident everywhere as well as Ranger. Among those 
remembered in Ranger are Cowart’s on the edge of Hodges Oak Park 
School on Lula Street and Powell’s on Pershing across from Young 
School. Others included Woods’ on Young Street, McGowan’s on Hunt 
Street, Tommie’s across from the livestock sale barn, the OK 
Grocery on the corner of Main and Sue Street, Dempsey’s on the 
Caddo Highway, and Blacklock Grocery on Blackwell Road.

Within the city limits are two cemeteries—Pioneer and Evergreen. 
The former is just off Highway 80 on a dirt road across from the 
Porky Pig and enclosed by a rock fence. The latter stands atop 
the hill west of town.