Cities, Towns & Communities
Andrews County 1922. Situated in the southwestern corner of the Plains country and adjoining the State of New Mexico on the west, Andrews County has had practically its sole use as a grazing section, and though the county lines were formed in 1876, county government was instituted only in 1910.
While the county is in the semi-arid section of far West Texas, its rolling prairies comprise a rich soil, the grasses furnishing a fine pasturage for cattlemen, and it has been lack of railroads perhaps more than any other thing which has delayed the progress in agriculture and in general settlement and upbuilding. At the present time the railroad enters the county to Seminole. To these points cattle are driven for shipment, and such products of the farm as are without local market are transported by teams. While the old ranch life may continue in this section for a number of years, the vanguard of farmers has already crossed the border and farming is being undertaken on an increasing scale. There is abundance of water underground, although the county has no running streams. For a number of years the ranchmen have raised gardens and some fruit by means of irrigating with windmill power.
At the census of 1890 only twenty-four inhabitants were found in the county ; in 1900, eighty-seven ; in 1910 the population was 975, and in 1920, 350. The county’s area is 1,001,600 acres, about twice the size of a normal West Texas County. The last census reported 324,496 acres included in farms, but only 1,105 acres as “improved land,” as compared with seventy acres in 1900. The number of farms or ranches in 1910 was eighteen, and twelve in 1900. At that time hardly two hundred acres were in cultivation in the staple crops of corn and kafir corn, and practically the only resource, as shown by the census statistics, was cattle, 54,322 of this stock being enumerated. The county has one small town, Andrews, which is the county seat. In 1913 the property valuation of the county was $2,387,860, in 1920, $2,722,873. – History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis, page 702.
Andrews County was formed from Bexar County on August 21, 1876, a year after the first detailed explorations made by Col. William R. Shafter from his military base at Fort Concho. The county was named for Richard Andrews, a hero of the Texas Revolution who was killed at the battle of Concepción in 1835. Subsequent boundary alterations occurred in 1902, 1931, and 1932. For administrative purposes the area was placed within the jurisdiction of Shackelford County in 1876, within the Howard Land District from 1882 to 1887, and within the Martin Land District from 1887 to 1891. The area was placed within the jurisdiction of Martin County from 1891 until 1910, when Andrews County was formally organized with Andrews as its county seat.
Oil may have had its greatest local impact on the public school system. A one-room schoolhouse had opened in Andrews in 1907; by 1909 it had twenty-five students. A year later six county school districts were established. In the 1930s the original districts were consolidated into one, based in Andrews. A new high school was built in 1945 and a new middle school in 1954. In 1962 another new high school was built, and 1973 saw the construction of a new middle school, complete with planetarium. The modern and well-equipped schools reflected the system’s reputation as one of the best and the wealthiest in the state. Read more Andrews County History from the Handbook of Texas Online.
Andrews County has had two courthouses. The first one was built in 1911 and the second and present courthouse was built in 1939. Over the years, 1939 Courthouse has been remodelled and has had new sections added to it.
Andrews County Courthouse from Texas Escapes.
Andrews County History, 1876–1978, Andrews, Texas: Andrews County Heritage Committee, 1978