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Deaf Smith County
In 1876 the state legislature identified and named the county, but it was not organized until 1890, with the town of LaPlata as the original county seat.
The county was named for Erastus "Deaf" Smith (1787-1837), a partially-deaf scout and soldier who served in the Texas Revolution. He was the first to reach the Alamo after its fall.
Erastus "Deaf" Smith
The earliest prehistoric inhabitants of these prairies gave way to Plains Apaches, who in turn were forced out by the warlike Comanches and Kiowas. In 1787, and again in 1788, José Mares followed Tierra Blanca Creek in his search for a route from Santa Fe to San Antonio.
The Indian wars of the 1870s, culminating in the Red River War of 1874-75, led to the nomadic red man's removal to the Indian Territory. Shortly thereafter ranchers began to appear in the area, and in 1876 the Texas legislature formed Deaf Smith County from the Bexar District. The census counted thirty-eight people in the county in 1880. By 1890 the county's population had increased to 179, and the census found seventeen farms or ranches in the area, seven of which
were smaller than 500 acres.
Between 1900 and 1910 the large ranchers began to sell their lands, and land-company promotions brought a rush of settlers to the area. With them came significant changes in the local agricultural economy during the first half of the twentieth century. The number of farms and ranches in the county increased steadily during most of this period
Dawn * Glenrio