White hunters cleared the land of buffalo
and wild horses in the 1870s, while Colonel Ranald S. MacKenzie's Fourth United States Cavalry subdued the Comanches
in 1874 and 1875. MacKenzie's base of operations against the Indians was located at Anderson's Fort, also called
Soldiers Mound, an army supply camp located near the site of present-day Spur. In 1876 the Texas state legislature
formed Dickens County from land previously assigned to Bexar County.
1890 Hagins planted the first cotton in Dickens County on school land obtained from the state for fifteen cents
an acre and 5 percent of the valuation. To avoid the 100-mile haul he had to make to Jones County for ginning of
his first crop, Hagins built a gin in 1891. That same year, the county was politically organized, with the town
of Espuela. Dickens was subsequently chosen as the county seat, and by 1893 the town had a courthouse, a
hotel, two stores, and a wagonyard. By 1900, 197 farms and ranches had been established in the county, and the
population had increased to 1,151.