Cities, Towns and Communities
Organization of Fisher County. When the Texas Legislature created Fisher County in 1876, there were no permanent settlements in the area. As a result, the county was linked with Shackelford and Nolan Counties for judicial purposes. By 1885, enough settlers had moved into the area to warrant official organization of the county. Part of this organization was the selection of a county seat, a matter that caused much debate. In 1885 two townsites were laid out and proposed as county seats. Businessman E. D. Strang, a native of Wisconsin, organized and promoted the town of Fisher, while two former Mississippi plantation owners, D. C. and M. L. Roby, inherited land on which they laid out the townsite of Roby. Fierce competition began between the adherents of each site. When the proponents of Roby felt they had enough votes, they presented a petition for election to the Nolan County Commissioners Court. Although adherents of Fisher contested the petition as faulty, they could not prove their accusations as correct. An election held in April 1886 determined Roby to be the county seat. As newly elected officials attended to business and construction began on a courthouse, tempers settled, and the organization of Fisher County was complete. – Historical Marker Text. Marker erected 1983. Located on southwest corner of courthouse lawn.
Fisher County History 1922. The development of Fisher County is quite accurately measured by the population statistics. At the census of 1880 only 136 persons. were enumerated within the thirty miles square of territory which had been created by the Legislature in 1876. The county was at that time unorganized and a county government was instituted in 1886. In 1881, the Texas & Pacific Railway was built across Western Texas. and about three miles of the track was laid in Fisher County, along the southern border. On this mileage was established one station, Eskota, but the principal shipping point for a number of years was at Sweetwater. A large immigration followed, but chiefly stockmen, and by 1890 the population was 2,996. Between 1881 and 1900 no new railroads were built, and the pastoral characteristics were continued and little farming attempted. By 1900 the population was 3,708.
During the present century there have been many developments. Population increased by 1910 to 12,596, more than 300 per cent. By 1905 the Kansas City. Mexico & Orient Railway was in operation from Sweetwater through the country north toward Red River. About 1907 the Texas Central Railway was extended from Stamford west to Rotan in Fisher County. In 1911 the Texico-Coleman, a cut off of the Santa Fe System, crossed the southwestern corner of the county. In the meantime, the Orient Railway having been built to the east of the county seat of Roby, a short line, known as the Estacado & Gulf, was graded from McCaulley on the main line of the Orient to Roby, a distance of twelve miles, and the track was laid from McCaulley to within three miles of Roby, but was never completed. In 1915 the material of this road was taken up and a road built with it from Roby to North Roby, a distance of four miles, on the main line of the Texas Central Railway. This road is now (1920) in operation. In 1907 the Texas Central was extended from Stamford to its present terminus at Rotan, twelve miles northwest of Roby. Rotan is now the largest town in the county. The principal towns, in 1920, are, in the order of their size, Rotan, Roby, McCaulley, Sylvester, Royston, Longworth, Eskota and North Roby.
In 1903 the assessed valuation of property in the county was $2,292- 832 ; in 1909, $7,291,558; in 1913, $6,124,199; in 1920, $6,692,625. In 1910 the county had 1,839 farms and ranches, as compared with 519 in 1900. The total area of the county is 566,400 acres, four-fifths of which were occupied in farms in 1910, and approximately 139,000 classified as “improved land.” The stock interests were enumerated as follows: Cattle, 9,244; horses and mules, 5,803. In 1909, 62,681 acres were planted in cotton ; 11,201 acres in hay and forage crops ; 10,532 acres in kaffir corn and milo maize ; 3,553 acres in corn, and a limited acreage in oats, wheat and peanuts. About 45,000 orchard fruit trees were enumerated. – History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.