Swisher County History 1922
Swisher County History Written in 1922
Swisher County was organized July 17, 1890. At the census of 1880 only four persons were found residing within its limits, and by 1890 the population was only 100. In 1900 the census reported a population of 1,227; in 1910, 4,012 and in 1920, 4,388. Development has been greatly promoted since the Pecos & Northern Branch of the Santa Fe was built from Canyon City south through Swisher County to Plainview in Hale County in 1907. Up to that time there was little incentive to farming, though most of the ranchers began some ten or fifteen years ago to cultivate a portion of their holdings in the forage crops particularly suitable to the Panhandle, and also to some extent employed windmills to pump water from the abundant underground supply for irrigating their truck patches. While irrigation is still limited, dry farming has accomplished a great deal, and in certain sections, especially in the Valley of Tulia Creek, on the sub-irrigated land, the growing of alfalfa and other crop has proved exceedingly profitable. Along the railroad and within convenient distance of railroad towns there is a rapid increase noted in the amount of land cultivated, but in other sections the grazing of cattle is the chief occupation. When the county was organized the seat of government was located at Tulia, exactly in the center of the county. Before the railroad arrived it was a village of three or four stores, bank, church and other interests and by 1910 had a population of 1,216. Two other towns along the railroad are Kress and Happy.
In 1903 the valuation of property, as indicated by assessment returns. was $1,000,000; in 1913, $4,733,747, and in 1920, $5,248,117. The resource of the county and the progress of ten years are shown in the last census report. At that time there were 510 farms in the county, as compared with 186 in 1900. Of a total area of 574,720 acres, 298,117 acres were included in farms, while 113,000 acres were classified as "improved land," as compared with about 16,000 acres in 1900. In 1920 the number of cattle was 22,409, horses and mules, 5,507. The largest crop was hay and forage, including about 250 acres in alfalfa, the total acreage for 1909 being 22,477 ; in kafir corn and milo maize, 10,859 acres were planted; in wheat, 4,240 acres ; in oats, 2,414 acres ; in corn, 2,644 acres. Some 200 acres are now in cultivation, the wheat yield for the year of 1920 amounting to some one and a half million bushels. - History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.