Hale County History 1922
Hale County was created in 1876 and was organized with a local government August 5, 1888. In 1903 its assessed valuation was $1,697,875; the rapid growth of the next ten years is indicated by the figures for 1913, which were $8,547,561; in 1920 they were $14,135,805. While the county had a population of nearly 2,000 at the beginning of the present century, it was still without railways. The towns in the county in 1903, all of them small, were Plainview, the county seat, Hale Center, Petersburg and Running Water.
In 1907 the line of the Pecos & Northern Texas was extended from Canyon City south to Plainview, and by 1910 had been extended south to Lubbock. About 1910, a branch of the same road was built east from Plainview through Lockney to Floydada. The railroads have been followed by rapid development along all lines, and several towns have sprung up, including Abernathy, Ellen and Finney. Plainview, which seven or eight years ago was described as merely a point on the cowpath across the plains and sixty-five miles from a shipping point, had a population in 1910 of 2,829, and now claims more than 5,000. It is a prosperous little city with many improvements, has $50,000 invested in public schools, is the center for the Wayland Baptist College and the Seth Ward Methodist College ; has ten churches, three national banks, flour mills, elevators, wholesale houses, and is the logical market center for the great irrigation and stock farming districts of Hale County. The live stock and agricultural development of the county up to 1910, before the introduction of irrigation on an extensive scale, is exemplified in some figures from the last census report. At that time there were 731 farms in the county, as compared with 259 in 1900. In 1900 only 20,000 acres were classified as "improved land," but by 1910 this had increased to about 127,000 acres. The total area of the county is 663,040 acres, of which 379,679 acres were in farms or ranches in 1910. Live stock statistics : Cattle, 2,050; horses and mules, 7,550; hogs, 4,430; sheep, 13,600. In 1909 the largest acreage was devoted to hay and forage crops, 28,570, including 3,619 acres in alfalfa ; in kaffir corn and milo maize, 14,329 acres were planted ; corn, 5.757 acres ; wheat, 2,862 acres ; oats, 941 acres, while the horticultural resources of the county at that time were indicated by the presence of about 70,000 orchard fruit trees and about 12,000 grape vines and other fruit. - History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.