Hardeman County History Written in 1922
Hardeman County. Until 1891 Hardeman comprised the greater portion of what is now Foard County. Hardeman was created by the legislature in 1858, and a county government was organized December 31, 1884. The first county seat was at the town of Margaret, now in Foard County. Hardeman County has as its northern boundary Red River, and its west line sets it off from the great Texas Panhandle. It was the haunt of buffalo and Indians and a few transient stockmen until the decade of the ’80s, and the history of its development is comprised within the last decades.
In 1880 only fifty inhabitants were found in the county. Population in 1890 was 3,904; in 1900, after the separation of Foard County, the population was 3,634 ; in 1910, 11,213 ; in 1920, 12,487.
Hardeman County has as one of its greatest resources immense deposits of gypsum, which is a natural cement plaster, prepared for market by drying. Several large plants and a great amount of capital has been invested and established for the preparation of this commodity, and much of the cement plaster used in the construction of buildings at the Chicago and St. Louis World’s Fairs came from this county. The town of Acme, west of Quanah, is the chief center for the gypsum industry, while another village known as Gypsum has also sprung up.
Acme, during the last six or seven years, has become the starting point for a new railway, known as the Quanah, Acme & Pacific Railroad, which has been extended southwest through Cottle County. The second town of the county is Chillicothe. at the junction point of the Fort Worth & Denver City and the Orient railways, and which had a population in 1910 of 1,207. Near Chillicothe is a large artificial reservoir, constructed by the Hardeman County Irrigation Company and supplying water sufficient to irrigate about ten thousand acres. About five thousand acres are now under irrigation from this source, including the largest single tract in the state devoted to the growing of alfalfa. At the last census over six hundred acres were reported as in alfalfa crop.
As a result of the building of railways and influx of many new settlers, the great pastures of Hardeman County have been cut up into farms, and this now ranks as one of the leading agricultural counties of Northwest Texas. The total area of the county is 487,040 acres, 310,388 acres included as farms at the last census, about 133,000 acres as “improved land,” as compared with about 44,000 acres so classified in 1900.
In 1910 there were 1,068 farms, and 262 farms in 1900. The census reported 11,761 cattle ; 686 horses and mules. In 1909, 34,686 acres were planted in cotton ; 23,750 acres in corn ; 7,156 acres in kaffir corn and milo maize ; 7,059 acres in wheat ; 4,158 acres in hay and forage crops ; 2,479 acres in oats, and there were about 8,000 orchard fruit trees. In 1903 the valuation of property in the county was $2,393,668 ; in 1913, $8.873,320 ; in 1920. $9,389,520. – History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.