Knox County, located in the Rolling Plains region of northwest central Texas, is surrounded on the north by Foard County, on the east by Baylor County, on the south by Haskell County, and on the west by King County. The center of the county is about seventy-five miles north of Abilene.
Cities, Towns & Communities
In February 1858 the Texas legislature formed Knox County from lands formerly assigned to Young and Bexar counties; because the area remained unsettled, it was again decreed a county in 1876 and attached to Baylor County in 1879 for administrative purposes. In 1880 only three farms or ranches were in operation in the county, and the census counted seventy-seven residents. Settlers came in larger numbers between 1880 and 1900. Robert D. Goree, who came as a cattleman to Northwest Texas in 1882, opened up the land to agriculture by encouraging people from older states and other Texas counties to move into Knox County. The county was organized in 1886, with the town of Benjamin, founded by Hillary Bedford in 1884 and named for his oldest son, as county seat. The first courthouse, a small box-and-strip building, was replaced by a native stone structure in 1888. By 1887 Goree had established a small settlement that he named after himself at Riley Springs, in the southeastern part of the county, and in 1895 a colony of German Catholics established the town of Rhineland a few miles away. By 1890 there were seventy-six farms and ranches in the county, and by 1900 there were 366, encompassing about 449,000 acres. Though almost 39,400 cattle were reported in the county in 1900, farming was becoming more firmly established. The number of acres devoted to corn production, for example, rose from about 1,500 in 1890 to more than 7,300 by 1900; during that same period, wheat acres in the county grew from 603 to 13,188, and cotton acres from 336 to 2,135. Meanwhile, the population of the county had increased to 1,134 by 1890 and to 2,322 by 1900.
Knox County 1922. The railroads and other factories which have been operating in recent years to develop Haskell County have also been working to break up the large ranches and promote the building of towns and the establishment of agriculture on a permanent basis in Knox County. Knox County, created in 1858, was organized March 20, 1886. A few stockmen had found their way into this section during the late ’70s, and in a few years the buffalo had been driven out and domestic cattle were grazing over the rolling prairies and along the valleys of the Wichita and Brazos Rivers, both of which streams have their courses through this county. At this time the ranchman occupy and own the greater part of the lands, but the influx of agricultural settlers has been particularly rapid since two railroad lines were finished. 1904 the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Road was built through the county from south to north and put in operation by 1905.
Benjamin, TX 33° 35′ 2.3316″ N, 99° 47′ 32.3268″ W