THE BONUS SHACK
The community of Plains, Yoakum County seat, is home to the “bonus shack”, a small wooden structure built in 1903. The “shack” served as temporary home to many of the region’s first settlers who were required by law to reside in the area for a specified amount of time in order to qualify for land titles. The historic structure survives today as the Tsa Mo Ga Memorial Museum, named for the local chapter of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs charged with maintaining the tiny building and its collection of rustic artifacts from turn-of-the-century life in the Texas Panhandle.
Plains, first settled by the Miller family (builders and first residents of the “bonus shack”), lies along the site of Sulphur Springs Draw, once a year-round water source now depleted by agricultural irrigation. The community provides services to both the agriculture and oil industries as well as housing the county’s business in its three-story brick courthouse constructed in 1949. The courthouse was designed by Wyatt C. Hedrick in the Moderne style of architecture.