Hartley County History Written in 1922
Hartley County. About one-half of this county was included in the 3,000,000-acre grant to the Capitol Syndicate. Fifteen years ago it was estimated that a third of the county’s area was held in these large pastures, and outside of that vast tract the other farms and ranches contained not less than a section of land, and in some cases reached 15,000 acres. Under these conditions Hartley County has been the home of the cattleman rather than of the farmer, and supported a very meager population. The breaking-up of the larger tracts began a few years ago, and, as in other Panhandle counties, agriculture and settled conditions are making rapid progress.
The county was organized February 9, 1891. In 1888 the Fort Worth & Denver City Railway was constructed across the eastern half of the county, and in 1900 the Rock Island Road was built across the northwest corner of the Panhandle, with about forty-five miles of its track in Hartley County. Besides the county seat at Channing, on the Fort Worth & Denver, other towns are Hartley, Romero and Middlewater. The prosperous little city of Dalhart, at the junction of these two railways, is located near the north line of the county.
The population of Hartley County at successive decades has been : In 1880, 100; in 1890, 252; in 1900, 377, in 1910, 1,298, and in 1920. 1,109. The total area of the county is 964,480 acres, of which 516,204 acres were in farms in 1910. The amount of “improved land” at the last census was about 195,000 acres as compared with only about 2,600 acres in 1900. The number of farms increased from 27 in 1900 to 165 in 1910. For a number of years the county has been the home of some of the fine Hereford and Polled Angus herds in this section of Texas, and in recent years considerable attention has also been given to hogs. The number of cattle in 1910 was 32,316 and the number of horses and mules about 2,500; in 1920, 52,073 cattle and 1,823 horses and mules. In 1909, 10,511 acres were planted in hay and forage crops ; 2,941 acres in kaffir corn and milo maize; 2,173 acres in wheat and a small acreage in corn and oats, while noticeable progress is also being made in horticulture and other branches of general agriculture. The valuation of property in 1903 was $1,623,506; in 1913, $5.376,036. and in 1920, $5,374,313. – History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.