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Palo Pinto County
William A. A.
(Bigfoot) Wallace surveyed the frontier in 1837 and may have been
the first white in the area that is now Palo Pinto County. The
original settlers in the region, including Oliver Loving, Charles
Goodnight, and Reuben Vaughn, established cattle ranches there in
the mid-to-late 1850s.
In 1856 the Texas state legislature established Palo Pinto County
from lands formerly assigned to Bosque and Navarro counties. The
county was organized the next year, with the town of Golconda chosen
to be the seat of government. The town was renamed Palo Pinto in
1858. One of the first businesses in the county, an ox treadmill,
was established that year.
The character of the local economy also changed during the last
decades of the nineteenth century and the first years of the
twentieth. Sheep ranching dwindled away. While cattle remained an
important locus of production, the number of cattle in Palo Pinto
declined by 1910. Meanwhile, crop farming became ever more
important, and cotton acreage expanded steadily.
Oil production in the county during the 1910s helped to diversify
the local economy. The first test oil well in Palo Pinto County was
drilled in 1901, but the boom did not occur until 1915, when the
field near the town of Palo Pinto was opened and became "one of the
most productive oil fields in the world," according to one
[Excerpted from: John
Leffler, "PALO PINTO COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online. Published by
the Texas State Historical Association.]
Photo by Mark W.
Cities, Towns and Populated Areas
Gordon * Graford * Mineral Wells * Mingus * Palo Pinto *
Santo * Strawn