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Donley County

Donley County is named for Stockton P. Donley, skilled criminal lawyer and electedTexas Supreme Court Judge. He didn't live in the Panhandle, but he's said to have been as clever an attorney asPatrick "give me liberty, or give me death" Henry. Donley County, created in 1876, was also cattle country,with the JA Ranch (established that year by Goodnight and John Adair), the RO Ranch, and Carhart's Quarter CircleHeart Ranch covering most of the area.  Donley County is one of the squared counties located in the Panhandle. Formerly thedomain of Plains Apaches and later the Comanches and Kiowas, this region was once overrun with buffalo until Whitemen settled in the latter 1870s. Many battles ensued between the tribes and the Whites, including the decisiveRed River War of 1874-75. Thereafter, the Indians were put on reservations in Indian Territory, and the buffalowere slaughtered. With the buffalo gone, vast cattle ranches could be established.
The county remained largely unchanged until the arrival of the Fort Worth and DenverCity Railway in 1887 as it built westward from Fort Worth to Colorado. As the railroad crossed the county, it passedfive miles south of Clarendon, prompting that settlement's residents to move the town to a new site on the tracksin October 1887. By 1888 little remained of the old Clarendon; the site was later inundated by Greenbelt Reservoir.The relocated Clarendon was a division point on the railroad until 1902. Shops and offices were built there in1887-88, and in 1887 Clarendon College, a Methodist School, was established.
[Sources:  Excerpted from Donald R. Abbe and H. Allen Anderson, "DONLEY COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online ; Published by the Texas State Historical Association and Texasescapes.com]

Clarendon, Texas
Clarendon, TX in 1890

Cities and Towns
Clarendon * Hedley * Howardwick



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Website Updates:
Jan 2014:  1883 Pensioners
Oct 2013:  obits for SKINNER, RIGDON;  news stories of train wreck and a house fire;  gossip news gleanings for LETTS, MORRIS, PORTER, SIMS, CONDRAN;  sick list news for DALE;  Crime news for AUTREY, GARRETT;  Community news item for GOODNIGHT


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