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Throckmorton County History 1922

Throckmorton County History Written in 1922

This is almost the only county in Northwest Texas outside of the Panhandle district which as yet has no railway. Stockmen invaded the section during the '70s, and it is only in comparatively recent years that many of the large ranches have been cut up into farms. The old range cattle were displaced a number of years ago in favor of improved breeds, and some of the best stock in West Texas come from the Throckmorton County ranches, A number of years ago it was a favorite country for sheep men, but that feature of the business has been almost discontinued.

Throckmorton County was created in 1858, but was not organized until March 18, 1879. A traveler through that part of the state in 1878 said that Throckmorton County was uninhabited except by stockmen, and one feature noted by him was described as follows: "Some genuine dugouts, the cowboy palaces, may be seen, being excavations from the sides of steep hills, walled with rock, covered with poles, buffalo hides and dirt, these being the homes of the cattle  men whose ranches are located along the creek valley."

From a population of 111 in 1880, the census of 1890 gave 902 inhabitants; in 1910 the population was 1,750; in 1910, 4,563; in 1920, 3,589. The county seat is Throckmorton, an isolated country town, and two other settlements are Spring Creek and Woodson.

The assessed value of taxable property in 1882 was $733,809, more than a third being represented in livestock ; in 1903, $1,879,827 ; in 1913, $4,241,138; in 1920, $4,611,467.

The cultivation of the soil had hardly begun in 1880. In 1882 the live stock interests were estimated in round numbers at about 18,000 cattle, 18,000 sheep, and 1,750 horses and mules. The total area of the county is 562,560 acres, and the last census reported 461,985 acres enclosed in farms or ranches, but only about 52,500 acres as "improved land." The amount of improved land at the preceding census was about 30,000 acres. There were 694 farms, as compared with 274 in 1900. The live stock enumerated in 1919 were : Cattle, 13,453 ; horses and mules, 4,513. In 1909, 20,655 acres were planted in cotton, 6,093 acres in hay and forage crops, 3,120 acres in corn, and 910 acres in kafir corn and milo maize. About 7,500 orchard fruit trees were enumerated, and about 10,000 pecan trees. - History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.