Gaines County, on the southern High Plains of West Texas, is bordered on the west by New Mexico, on the south by Andrews County, on the east by Dawson County, and on the north by Yoakum and Terry counties.
Cities, Towns & Communities
Gaines county was named for James Gaines, a merchant who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. Gaines County covers 1,489 square miles of rolling land that drains to scattered playas and draws. Sandy loam and sandy soils lie over the county’s red-clay subsoil and support a growth of mesquite, shinnery, and catclaw. Cedar Lake (called Laguna Salinas by the Spanish), in northeastern Gaines County, is the largest salt lake on the Texas plains. The county’s elevation ranges from 3,000 to 3,600 feet above sea level, and its annual average rainfall is 15.83 inches. The average minimum temperature in January is 16° F; the average maximum in July is 94°. The county has a 210-day growing season. The agricultural components of the local economy earn about $92 million annually from cotton (Gaines County ranks second among cotton-producing counties in Texas), sorghums, vegetables, peanuts, sunflowers, peaches, pecans, cattle, sheep, and hogs. Irrigated land amounts to about 400,000 acres. Gaines County is also one of the state’s leading oil counties; it produced 42,810,261 barrels in 1990. Read Gaines County History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>
Gaines County 1922. Created in 1876, Gaines County was organized in 1905. It was at one time the haunt of a number of Seminole Indians, who frequented the delightful valley afterwards named Seminole Draw. The county seat and chief center of the county is Seminole. New Mexico forms the western boundary of the county, and the surface is elevated, a rolling prairie except where traversed by the draws, and practically the only water supply is that found at convenient distance under ground. Successful experiments have demonstrated the feasibility of irrigation from this source, and within less than ten years a considerable acreage has been developed for agricultural purposes, either through dry farming or by irrigation. Gaines has long been regarded as one of the best live stock sections of West Texas. Continue Reading Gaines County History Written in 1922 >>
The Gaines County Story, 1974, edited by Margaret Coward.