The following is a history of Lamp Land, a retail outlet for the products of Texans Incorporated that thrived in Bangs for many years. June Winfrey, daughter of Lamp Land founders Benton and Opal Barnett, wrote this for inclusion here on texansinc.com, and our sincerest appreciation goes to her for providing a wonderful family history.
by June Winfrey
Benton and Opal Barnett moved to Bangs from Fort Worth, Texas with their two daughters, June, 15 years old, and Nona, 5 years old, in 1946. The Barnetts bought a grocery store, service station and ice house from Mr. & Mrs. Hintner. The place of business was located on Hwy 67-84 next door to the present Bangs School Offices. In 1947 another daughter, Janice Elaine, was added to the family. The Barnett business was a family affair. Everyone worked. Benton was a very enterprising business man. He also operated two custom combines and two grain trucks. Quite a few high school boys worked summer jobs with the grain harvest from Corpus Christi to Nebraska.
In 1953 Benton spoke to several business men in Bangs and decided it would be a good way to promote Bangs and the Lamp Factory to have a retail outlet. Benton and Opal purchased a lot across the highway from their business. The lot was located close to the present day Rippetoe Pharmacy. The lot had a small run down building on it. Benton repaired the building and built shelving to display most of the items that were manufactured by the lamp factory. Benton bought unfinished lamps and did the wiring and added shades himself. They sold lamps, vases, ash trays, flower pots candy dishes, and many other items all made by the lamp factory. Beside the local trade, there were many tourists that stopped. A lot of these items made in Bangs, Tx. were taken all over the United States. In the late 50's the Barnetts sold Lamp Land and built a laundry. Part of the building where the school offices are today was that building. Benton passed away in 1966. Opal closed the grocery store and station. That was all torn down except the house. Opal lived there until 1985 when she sold the property to the Bangs School District. The Barnett family always felt a part of Bangs' most successful business, the Bangs lamp factory, and of course, Lamp Land.
Note: The Barnetts sold Lamp Land to C.E. Franklin around 1958, who in turn sold the business to Mr. and Mrs. Hollis McKnight on April 8th 1960. At some point the McKnights sold to Oren Bauer (one of the Texans Inc. founders), who owned Lamp Land for many years until it was closed, probably around the time that Texans Inc. became Challenger Lighting.