Hale County is located on the Llano Estacado in northwest Texas, bounded on the east by Floyd County, on the south by Lubbock County, on the west by Lamb County, and on the north by Swisher and Castro counties. The center of the county is about forty miles north of Lubbock.
Cities, Towns & Communities
Comanches hunted in the area from the early eighteenth century to the 1870s, preying on the large herds of buffalo that roamed the plains. By 1876, when Hale County was marked off from Bexar County, both the Comanches and the buffalo had disappeared. The first cattle were brought into the area in 1881, with the establishment of the Cross L Ranch, which covered twenty square miles at the corners of Hale, Lamb, Castro, and Swisher counties. The first permanent settler in the county was Horatio Graves, a Methodist minister and farmer, who purchased four sections and moved into the area in 1883; he experimented with farming by growing garden and feed crops. Within the next two years other settlers, including A. E. Adams, A. N. Jones, D. L. Shepley, and F. M. and L. T. Lester, moved into the county with their families. Once a month Graves carried the mail for local ranchers and other settlers from Estacado to a post office he established in 1884. His home became the center of the community during the early years of settlement; church services and school classes were held there. In 1886 another early settler, Z. T. Maxwell, located his homestead at the site of two hackberry groves on the old military trail established by Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie. The town of Plainview later grew around Maxwell’s settlement. After establishing Hale County in 1876 the Texas legislature attached it successively to Baylor, Donley, and Crosby counties for administrative purposes. The county was organized in 1888, with Plainview as county seat. In 1890 the census counted 721 residents. Read Hale County History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>
Hale County History 1922. Hale County has been in the line of development in the Plains country of Northwest Texas for a long time. It received a considerable share of the population that peopled the Panhandle, and though remote from railways until recently, it sustained a larger population and had greater wealth than any of the adjoining counties. While the counties to the east and south had a mere handful of inhabitants up to the beginning of the present century, Hale County in 1890 had a population of 721; this increased by 1900 to 1,680. One of the chief reasons for the early development of Hale County is found in its topography. The following description, taken from a statistical report of 1903, explains the conditions which favored the early stockmen and farmers. The county is situated in the center of the Staked Plains, and is one level prairie from center to circumference, almost every acre of which can be cultivated. It has no rivers, creeks, hills, mountains or forests. Continue Reading Hale County History Written in 1922 >>
History of Hale County, Texas, 1937, by Mary L. Cox
Hale County Facts and Folklore, 1978, edited by Vera D. Wofford