Gaines County History 1922
Gaines County History Written in 1922
Gaines County. Created in 1876, Gaines County was organized in 1905. It was at one time the haunt of a number of Seminole Indians, who frequented the delightful valley afterwards named Seminole Draw. The county seat and chief center of the county is Seminole. New Mexico forms the western boundary of the county, and the surface is elevated, a rolling prairie except where traversed by the draws, and practically the only water supply is that found at convenient distance under ground. Successful experiments have demonstrated the feasibility of irrigation from this source, and within less than ten years a considerable acreage has been developed for agricultural purposes, either through dry farming or by irrigation. Gaines has long been regarded as one of the best live stock sections of West Texas.
In 1880 only eight inhabitants were found by the census enumerators ; the population in 1890 was. 68 ; in 1900, 55 ; in 1910, 1255 and in 1920, 10,918. The town of Seminole was founded about the time the county was organized, and there are one or two other small village centers.
The total area of the county is 985,600 acres, of which about 500,000 acres were reported in 1910 as occupied in farms or ranches. At that time about 20,000 acres were classified as "improved land," as compared with only 55 in 1900. The number of farms increased from 6 in 1900 to 206 in 1910. The number of cattle in 1910 was 34,249 and of horses and mules, about 1,250. In 1920, the number of cattle was 20,916; horses and mules, 2.919. In 1909, 4,255 acres were planted in hay and forage crops ; 3,709 acres in corn, and a limited acreage in kaffir corn and milo maize. The settlers have given some attention to fruit growing. the possibilities of which are promising, and the last census reported about 2,000 orchard fruit trees. In 1913 the assessed value of property in the county was $2,803,880. In 1920 the assessed valuation was $4,043,510. The county has two railroads, one from Midland to Seminole, a distance of sixty-five miles (known as the Midland Northwestern Railway Co.), the other from Lubbock to Seagraves (Blythe, Postoffice). The terminus of the latter road is twenty miles north of Seminole, the county seat. - History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.