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Lubbock County, Texas

    ["Annual Report of the Agricultural Bureau ...", Volumes 5-6; Volumes 1891-1893 By Texas. Agricultural Bureau]

    Was created August 21, 1876, out of the territories of Young and Bexar, and named in honor of Tom Lubbock, colonel of the Terry Rangers.
    It was organized March 10, 1891, and contains an area of 900 square miles.
    It is situated in the Panhandle, and is the third county from the boundary line of New Mexico, and in the seventh tier of counties from the northern line.
    It is watered by Yellow House Canyon creek, a tributary of the Salt Fork of the Brazos river.
    There are no railroads in the county.
    Stockraising is the principal industry of the people.
    The surface of the county is very level.
    The soil is a dark sandy loam.

    United States census 1880, 25; 1890, 33; increase 8.
    Lubbock is the county seat, population 25.

    of Property.—The assessed value of all property in 1891, $883,358; in 1892, $942,661: increase $59,303.
    .—Number of marriages in the county during the year 1. divorces 1.
    —The county has a total school population of 77. Total tuition revenue received from the State $385.

    and Crop Statistics.—There were 7 mortgages recorded in the county during the year, the amount of such mortgages being $24,052.50.
    There are 16 farms in the county; 2 farm laborers were employed on the farms of the county during the year; average wages paid $20 per month.
    Value of farming implements $250.

    The farmers of this county purchased during the year: 695 pounds of bacon. 235 pounds of lard.
    —Improved lands sell for from $3 to $6 per acre, unimproved for from $1 to $4 per acre. The average taxable value of land in this county is $2.01 per acre.
    Acres State school land in county 183,680. 

    Fruits and Garden.—Acres in peaches 24, value $665; in apples 3. value $90: in melons 5, value $135; in garden 2. value $90. 

    Wool.—Number of sheep sheared 3800, pounds of wool clipped 19,000, value of wool clipped $2,100. 

    Livestock.—Number of horses and mules 749, value $1944; cattle 16,041, value $112,253; sheep 5250, value $7875; hogs 21, value $81. 

    County Finances.—The rate of county tax on the $100 valuation for 1891 was 79 1-6 cents. On December 31, 1891, there was a balance in the county treasury of $1285.81. The indebtedness on December 31. 1891, outstanding court house bonds $12,000. jail bonds $4000, total bonded indebtedness $16,000, all other indebtedness $2294.75: total county indebtedness $18,294.75. 

    The county expended during the year $14 for grand jury, $76 for petit jury. Total amount expended for the support of the county government $2320. 

    Criminal Statistics.—There were incarcerated in the county jail of the county during the year 2 persons—2 white males—on the following charges: Theft 2. 

    Miscellaneous.—There are in the county 4 lawyers, 4 mercantile establishments.

    [A History of Lubbock, 196; Lawrence L. Graves, editor; Transcribed by Kiti Walton]

    EXCERPT FROM "History of Lubbock"
    The first white settlement in Lubbock County, and in fact on the High Plains, was made in the northeast part of the county in 1879 under the leadership of Paris Cox.  He was born near Ashboro, North Carolina, October 17, 1846.  While a young man he went to Indiana where he married Mary Ferguson.  In 1875 he was operating a sawmill in Boxley, Indian, when an agent representing a Texas railroad offered to trade certificates for fifty thousand acres of unlocated lands in Texas for the sawmill and lumber business.  Cox traded “sight unseen”.  In 1878 he came to Texas to locate his land on the public domain.  He participated in a buffalo hunt and camped at Julia Lake in southeastern Hale County.  He was impressed by the soil and the vegetation of the High Plains and determined to locate his land above the Caprock.  He went to Austin and arranged to have it surveyed and recorded.  The lands were supposed to be in Crosby County.  He returned to the plains and contracted with Hank Smith to break and plant to various crops twenty-three acres of sod and to dig a well.  For digging the well Smith was to get two dollars per foot for the first fifteen feet, and five dollars a foot from there down.  All below fifteen feet was to be walled with rock.  Cox went to Indiana to get his family, and Smith went to work. 

    The year 1879 was seasonable and the sod land yielded an abundant harvest.  Also the well was finished when Cox returned in the fall.  With him came three other Quaker families, the Hayworths, the Stubbs, and the Sprays.  Cox built a sod house before cold weather.  The other three families passed the winter in tents.  Their suffering and tribulations were great, and when a violent sandstorm leveled their tents in March, all three families went back to where they had come from.  Paris Cox and his family stayed.  His wife was with child, and Cox sent for an old Quaker friend, Dr. William Hunt, stationed on the Osage Reservation in Indian Territory.  Dr. Hunt came, and in June 1880 delivered a girl who was named Bertha.  Due to a faulty land survey, Paris Cox’s house, his well, and his field were located in Lubbock County.  Bertha thus became the first white child to be born in Lubbock County. 

    Cox had land to sell, and he did not let the desertions on the part of the three families deter him from his dream of establishing a Quaker colony.  Dr. William Hunt caught the vision and went back to Indian Territory for his family.  He returned to the settlement on June 15, 1881.  Shortly afterward George Singer arrived with his family, built an adobe house and opened a store.  

        A History of Texas and Texans, Volume 2  By Francis White Johnson (Published by American Historical Society, 1914) -
        Transcribed by Veneta McKinney

        Lubbock County

        A few years ago Lubbock County had nothing to distinguish it particularly from other counties in the staked plains region. Its large area supported a meager population of stockmen, there were no railroads, and the only thing to attract new settlers was the grazing of pasture lands. The last decade has witnessed many remarkable changes. In 1907 a branch of the Pecos & Northern Texas Railway was completed from Canyon City as far as Plainview, and by the spring of 1910 trains were operating from Plainview south to Lubbock. During 1910 construction work was being rapidly pushed on the Texico-Coleman cut-off of the Santa Fe, passing through Lubbock County and Lubbock City. This road was completed by 1911, and about the same time a branch was extended east from Luboek known as the Crosbyton & South Plains Railroad. Settlers and capital at once came into the Lubbock district, and many of the large ranch holdings were cut up into farms, and while the farmers as a rule employed with satisfying success the dry methods of cultivating the plains crops, a still greater resource so far as future development is concerned was found in the discovery of the shallow well water supply, by which copious streams of water can be brought from a depth of forty to a hundred feet and pumped over the fruit, alfalfa and other grain fields, insuring splendid crops from the fertile soil. Recently a number of test wells have been put down, and by the use of gasoline power and centrifugal pumps enormous flows of water are obtained. Continual pumping for many hours has failed to perceptibly lower the water in these wells. In the valleys of the streams, tributaries of the Brazos River, a large acreage is already sub-irrigated and alfalfa grows luxuriantly. Some features of the farming conditions and possibilities of the Lubbock country are described in the following quotations from a pamphlet issued by the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce: '' There are two kinds of farming carried on successfully in this county. One is farming without irrigation, depending upon the twenty-four inches of rainfall to produce crops. Twenty-four inches has proved enough to raise big crops of maize, kafir corn, soudan grass, peanuts, broom corn, cotton, fruit, etc. The other method of farming practiced is by irrigation from shallow wells. This water is 99.8 per cent pure, entirely free from alkali or other injurious qualities. With the well, every farmer can have his own irrigation plant and is at no expense except when using the water. Alfalfa is a big crop under irrigation and is a big money maker for the farmer. Kafir corn is raised successfully, either with or without irrigation, and has been proved to be equal to Indian corn for feed, acre for acre. Lubbock is also becoming a great stock country, years ago large ranches were maintained here and thousands of cattle grazed, but now the ranches are being cut up in farms, and the farmers are raising a little stock through the use of ensilage of kafir corn, milo maize, etc. Fruit and truck raising is another enterprise of this country that is being rapidly developed."

        The legislative act of August 21, 1876, carved out Lubbock County among a number of others in Northwest Texas. The county was organized March 10, 1891. In 1880 its population was only 25; in 1890, 33; in 1900, 293; and then by 1910 there were 3,624 inhabitants. In 1903 the assessed value of property was $1,146,672; by 1913 the assessed valuations aggregated $4,971,301. In 1900 Lubbock County had only forty-six farms and ranches. In 1910 this number had increased to 208. In the total area of 555,520 acres, the last census reported 277,269 acres in farms, and about 28,000 acres in cultivation, as compared with about 4,000 acres at the preceding census. Since the taking of the last census there has probably been greater development than in all the preceding decades. In 1910, 18,191 cattle were enumerated; about 2,100 horses and mules, and 4,213 sheep. The acreage planted in kafir corn and milo maize in 1909 was 1,632; in corn, 1,210; in hay and forage crops, 1,504, and about 12,600 orchard fruit trees were found.
        Until the railroad era the Town of Lubbock, the county seat, was a small village. Since then several other towns have sprung up along the railways, and Slaton has considerable importance as the junction point for the branch of the Pecos & Northern Texas running south to Lynn and Dawson Counties. Lubbock is one of the largest plains country railroad centers. At the last census its population was 1,938. The city has greatly increased since 1910, and now has all the modern improvements, including waterworks, sewerage, electric light, ice plant, and Lubbock is rapidly becoming the distributing center of a large section of the plains country.

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