Jones County History 1922
Jones County History Written in 1922
Jones County. The limits of Jones County were assigned by the Legislature in 1858, but there was hardly an inhabitant who could be classed as a permanent settler until about the beginning of the '70s. The county was organized June 13. 1881. That date corresponds with the time of construction of the Texas & Pacific Railway through Taylor County on the south, and Jones County thus lies within the belt of territory largely developed through that pioneer West Texas Railroad. The county had no railways until the present century. and until a few years ago was an almost exclusively stock raising country. The rapid increase in population and the building of railroads have provided markets for farm products and have made profitable the production of cotton and other staple crops and also the growing of vegetables and fruits.
In 1880 Jones County had a population of 546; in 1890, 3,797 ; in 1900. 7,053 ; in 1910. 24,299 ; and in 1920. 25,293. The increase was over three hundred per cent during the first decade of the present century. In 1900 the first railroad, the Texas Central, was completed to Stamford. The second railway in the county was a portion of the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient. which by 1905 had been completed from Sweetwater into Haskell County. crossing the northwest corner of Jones County. In 1905 the Wichita Valley Railroad Company was incorporated to construct a line from Seymour south to Stamford. About the same time the Abilene & Northern Railroad began construction from Abilene north, and the two lines were connected at Stamford in 1907. Subsequent extensions of these railroads have given Jones County a large mileage, all of which has been laid since the beginning of the present century.
It has been during the railroad era that the county has developed its chief towns. No town had a separate enumeration in 1900, and the principal center of population was Anson, the county seat, which had first been called Jones City. The chief shipping point was Abilene, over in Taylor County. In 1910 the chief towns with population were: Stamford, 3,902; Hamlin, 1,978, and Anson, 1,842. Other villages are Avoca, Lueders, Hawley and Tuxedo. These are all located on the various lines of railway.
Stamford, the chief city, is noted for the progressiveness of its citizens and for its public improvements. It has thirty-four blocks of brick paving, being the first town between Fort Worth and El Paso to lay brick paving, and thirty blocks of excellent gravel paved streets ; fine public buildings, business houses and residences. A number of industries are successfully conducted, and it is also a center for West Texas educational institutions. In 1899 a town site company was organized to anticipate the construction of the Texas Central west from Albany, which had been its terminus for nearly twenty years. The first sale of town lots was made in Stamford in January, 1900, and the first railway train arrived in the town on February 8th of the same year. An independent school district was at once organized, a public school building erected, a city hall in 1903, and in a few months the town furnished banking, hotel, shipping and general facilities to its large surrounding trade territory. Latterly the public plaza was given a postoffice building in the center, costing $60,000, and the rest of the plaza has been made into a flower garden. The city has recently built a $30,000 city hall and is soon to vote bonds for a $100,000 high school building.
Property values were assessed in 1882 at $701,524; in 1903, at $2,837,850, in 1913, $12,191,525 ; in 1920, $14,895,370. The general economic development since 1900 is indicated by the returns of the last census. There were, in 1910, 2,907 farms as compared with only 820 in 1900. Of the total area of 590,080 acres about 495,000 acres were included in farms or ranches in 1910, and about 246,000 acres were classified as "improved land," a larger amount than was found in some of the older counties in the eastern section of the state. The amount of "improved land" in 1900 was 78,000 acres. The live stock interests found at the last enumeration were : Cattle, 15,970 ; horses and mules about 14,900 ; hogs, 9,796. In 1909, 110,458 acres were planted in cotton; 36,049 acres in kaffir corn and milo maize ; 12,463 acres in hay and forage crops ; 4,078 acres in corn, 1,792 acres in wheat ; 2,252 acres in peanuts ; and a limited acreage in .oaths, potatoes, sweet potatoes and other vegetables. About 40,000 orchard fruit trees were enumerated. In 1919 Jones County raised 72,000 bales of cotton, being the second county in cotton production in the state. These statistics give this county a very favorable comparison with not only the counties in the same area, but with those in older and more favored sections of the state. Considering that the substantial development of the county began about twenty years ago, Jones County has been one of the most rapidly progressive counties in all Northwest Texas. - History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.