Young County History 1922
Thirty years ago it was estimated that less than three per cent of the total area of the county was under cultivation. Young County was then and for a number of years afterwards one of the chief centers of the Texas cattle industry, and it was at Graham in February, 1877, that the Cattle Raisers' Association of Texas was organized. A report on the county in 1882 mentioned the towns as Belknap, Graham, Farmer and Eliasville.
In. founding his town on Salt Creek in 1872 Mr. Graham was led by the hope that the Texas & Pacific would be built through Young County. That line eventually passed about forty miles to the south, and Young County remained without a railroad until 1902, when the Rock Island was extended west from Jacksboro to Graham. By 1907 the Wichita Falls & Southern was completed from "Wichita Falls south as far as Olney, and has since been extended to a terminus at Newcastle, in this county. About three or four years ago, the Gulf, Texas & Western was built through the county from Seymour to Jacksboro.
As a result of the building of railroads, the economic activities of the county have been largely changed during the last decade. As already mentioned, population more than doubled, and most of the large ranches have been broken up and farming is now an important industry. A consider able quantity of land along the many streams in the county is irrigated. The county also has mineral resources. Seventeen miles southwest of Graham on Fish Creek is found the thickest vein of coal the entire state. The slate deposits about Graham are no longer worked. The county also has several gas wells.
The last census report furnishes some statistics on the general agricultural development and conditions in the county during the last decade. Of the total area of 560,000 acres, 458,754 acres were reported as in farms or ranches, and of this, about 132,000 acres were improved land. The amount of improved land in 1900 was 65,000 acres, about half the amount found ten years later. There were 1,796 farms enumerated in 1910, as com pared with 899 in 1900. Live stock statistics : Cattle, 21,892 ; horses and mules, 7,877; hogs, 7,350. The crops in 1909 were : Cotton, 50,776 acres ; corn, 17,493 acres : hay and forage crops, 6,426 acres ; wheat, 4,082 acres ; oats. 1,374 acres ; kaffir corn and milo maize, 1297 acres. About 39,000 orchard fruit trees were enumerated and about 9,000 pecan trees.
As a result of railroads, several new towns have sprung up. Graham, the old county seat, is still the metropolis, and its population in 1890 was 667 ; in 1900. 878 ; in 1910, 1,569 ; in 1920, 2,560. The second town is Olney, which was first the terminus of the Wichita Falls & Southern, now a part of the M. K. & T., and is now the junction point of that road and the Gulf, Texas & Western. Its population in 1910 was 1,095. Other towns are Orth, Jean. Loving. Newcastle and Dakin. In 1870 Young County's taxable values amounted to only $42,251 ; in 1882, $1,498,880; it 1903, $2,989,605 ; in 1913, $8,179,578 ; in 1920, $8,791,370. - History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.