Armstrong County, Texas

Armstrong County, in the central Panhandle on the eastern edge of the Texas High Plains, is bounded on the east by Donley County, on the north by Carson County, on the west by Randall County, and on the south by Swisher County and Briscoe County. Claude, the county seat, is in the north central part of the county 30 east of Amarillo.

Cities, Towns & Communities

Burr | Claude (Armstrong City) – county seat | Dawkins | Fairview | Goodnight | Gorin | Kasota | Lakeview | Llano | Malden | Mount Pleasant (Monkey Run) | Paloduro (Mulberry Flats) | Washburn | Wayside (Beulah) | Worthy


Armstrong County. Although the county was marked off from Bexar County in 1876, it remained unorganized until 1890, when the growing population felt the need for a local government. Accordingly, the county was organized in March of that year, with Claude as the county seat. In the early years of the twentieth century, the great ranches began to be broken up and land was sold to newly arriving farmers. Between 1900 and 1910, the number of farms in Armstrong County grew from 172 to 384. Many newcomers planted cotton; by 1910, cotton was grown on more than 18,000 acres in the county. Cotton culture dropped precipitously between 1910 and 1920, however, and a number of farmers went broke. Between and 1920 and 1930, however, the number of farms increased again from 373 to 472, as more than 40,000 acres was turned to wheat production. Meanwhile, the large ranches, though reduced in size, continued to dominate the local economy. The number of cattle in the county declined to fewer than 35,000 in 1910 and about 23,000 in 1920, but rose again to almost 46,000 in 1929.

Armstrong County. Created 1876. Name honors several Texas pioneers named Armstrong. Ranching became the chief industry when huge JA Ranch was established here in 1876. Farming was introduced after the railroad came through, 1887. County was organized in 1890. Present courthouse was built 1912. – Historic Marker Text. Marker erected 1969. Located on the Courthouse lawn, northwest corner of US 287 and Trice St., Claude.

Armstrong County History 1922. The Palo Duro Canyon in Armstrong County is one of the most picturesque features of Texas physiography, and it has often been proposed that the Government should set it aside as a national park. It was in this locality that Col. Charles Goodnight established the pioneer Panhandle Ranch in 1876, and even in recent years Armstrong has claimed the distinction of marketing more cattle, hogs and sorghum seed than any other county in the Panhandle. For many years the cattle industry has been the chief resource, and the county contains many large ranches, one of them, comprising about a fifth of the area, being one of the largest in extent in all Northwest Texas. Of late years stockmen have devoted a great deal of attention to the improvement of breeds, and as a result the ranches are stocked with splendid specimens of Herefords, Polled Angus and other breeds of beef animals. Livestock farming is taking the place of ranching in many sections, particularly in the northern and eastern portion in the vicinity of the Fort Worth & Denver Railroad.

County Histories

The Current Armstrong County Courthouse, built in 1912. A Collection of Memories: A History of Armstrong County, 1876-1965, by the Armstrong County Historical Association, an historical overview of Armstrong County, Texas discussing the ranches, families, and individuals important to the area. History of Armstrong County, Volumes 1 and 2, 1939, a compilation of biographical stories about the Armstrong County pioneers prior to 1900. Read the books online from the Portal to Texas History.


Armstrong County has been home to two courthouses, both located in Claude. The first, a frame building was used until a stone courthouse was built in 1912. The 1912 courthouse has been in use for over 100 years.


Claude, TX 35° 6′ 42.1848″ N, 101° 21′ 47.5992″ W

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