Dickens County, Texas

Dickens County, located in northwest Texas, is surrounded on the north by Motley County, on the west by Crosby County, on the south by Kent County, and on the east by King County. Dickens, the county seat is located 63 miles east of Lubbock.

Cities, Towns & Communities

Afton | Dickens – county seat | Glenn | McAdoo | /city/dickens-county-history-1922


Dickens County. Until the first years of the twentieth century, settlers shunned the area because of its remoteness and slight rainfall. Instead of farms, huge cattle ranches (the Spur, Pitchfork, and Matador, took up most of the land. The Spur Ranch was started, for example, in 1878, with 1,900 head of cattle that Jim Hull drove from Refugio County. In 1880 only three homes, a schoolhouse, and twenty-eight people were in the county; most of the residents were apparently ranchhands. The owners of the Spur, however, attempted to encourage settlement; in 1884, for example, S.W. Lomax, manager of the ranch, conducted an agricultural experiment on company lands. Cheap land-sold at two dollars an acre-inspired settlers like A. J. Hagins, who moved by covered wagon to Dickens County in 1889. Hagins joined other settlers such as W. L. (Bud) Browning, J. L. Gates, the Wilmores, and the Crawfords, and established a farm near old Fort Griffin. Hagins housed his wife and six children in a one-room dugout. Wood and water were readily available, and the pioneers grew corn. In 1890 the census counted 295 residents in the county.

Dickens County 1922. This county, in Northwest Texas, presents a broken surface, with undulating valleys, while in the northwestern portion is a section of the Staked Plains. The county was created August 21, 1876, and was organized March 14, 1891, with Dickens as the county seat.

For a number of years three or four ranches covered most of the available portion of the county for ranching purposes, and the development of the county for any other purpose than grazing has been slow. The population in 1880 was only 28; in 1890, 295 ; in 1900, 1,151 ; in 1910. 3,092 ; in 1920, 5,876.

In November, 1909, regular service was instituted over the line of the Stamford & Northwestern Railway, now a division of the Wichita Valley. The northern terminus of this road is Spur, in Dickens County, and though the town is little more than four years old its improvement has teen rapid, its population is estimated at about one thousand, and all modern facilities and public utilities have been provided.

County Histories

A History of Dickens County: Ranches and Rolling Plains, 1971, by Fred Arrington


Dickens, TX 33° 37′ 18.3072″ N, 100° 50′ 11.4756″ W

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