Parker County History 1922
Weatherford seems to have increased faster than any town in North Texas during the first three years of its existence." The establishment of a newspaper—The Frontier News—at that place, which two years before could not boast of a cabin, was evidence not only of the enterprise of its publisher, but more so of the rapid strides the northwestern frontier was making in improvement and settlement.
In 1860 the number of inhabitants was almost as large as in 1870, and by the latter date the people had hardly repaired the damage inflicted during the decade of the war. The rapid increase of population during the '70s was due partly to the general immigration to this portion of Texas in that decade, but more particularly to the building of the first railroad through the county. The citizens of Weatherford were inspired with the same hope of railroad connection with the outer world as were the people of Fort Worth. By 1877 the town had grown so that it was credited with 2,000 population. Some of the men whose civic and business energy was behind the progress of the '70s were Judge A. J. Hood, Captain Ball, I. Patrick Valentine, and the district attorney of the county was S. W. T. Lanham. later governor of Texas.
Weatherford has been the home of many well known men. Their spirit of enterprises was of the same sort as that of the people of Fort Worth : for when they saw that there was no immediate prospect of the Texas & Pacific being extended from Fort Worth to the West, they followed the example of their more fortunate rival and formed the Parker County Construction Company to build a line between the cities. In January. 1879, the grading was begun, by the following May half of the work was completed, and by the winter of 1879-80 trains were running into Weatherford. That town remained the terminus only a brief time, until construction was rapidly extended west toward El Paso. During the '80s the branch of the Santa Fe from Cleburne to Weatherford was built. The Weatherford, Mineral Wells & Northwestern Railway is largely a Weatherford enterprise, its general offices and shops are located in that city, and it has made a large section of country to the northwest tributary to the Parker County metropolis. Within the last two or three years the line of railway known as the Gulf, Texas & Western has been constructed from Jacksboro to a connection with the Weatherford, Mineral Wells & Northwestern, thus increasing the traffic which passes through Weatherford.
The population of Parker County in 1860 was 4,213 ; in 1870, 4,186; in 1890, after the first railroad had come, 15,870 (615 negroes) ; in 1890. 21,682 ; in 1900, 25,823 (865) ; in 1910, 26,231 ; in 1920. 33,482.
- History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.