Hockley County, Texas
Hockley County is located in northwestern Texas, south of the Panhandle and on the Llano Estacado, bordered on the east by Lubbock County, on the south by Terry County, on the west by Cochran County, and on the north by Lamb County.
Cities, Towns & Communities
Anton | Arnett | Claudene | Levelland - county seat | Lockettville | Opdyke West | Pep | Ropesville | Roundup | Smyer | Sundown
Hockley County was formed in 1876 the Texas legislature from lands formerly assigned to Bexar and Young counties. Because settlers were slow to move into the area, however, the county was assigned to Lubbock County for administrative purposes until 1920. Until the early twentieth century, the area was dominated by a few large cattle operations. The Causeys were the first settlers in the area; after several years of buffalo hunting in Kansas and Texas, they established a base at Yellow House Canyon in 1877 and built the first house in the county. When the buffalo herds were depleted, the Causeys went into the bone business, and in 1882 they established a ranch. In 1885, however, the XIT Ranch, one of the state's largest cattle-raising ventures, was founded in the area, and the Causeys were forced to move.
The XIT expanded to include the northern third of Hockley County; meanwhile, other sections of county land were bought by such ranchers as F. G. Oxsheer (1884), David M. Devitt (1885), John Gordon (1886), and the Snyder brothers, Dudley H. and John W. (1885), who sold to Isaac L. Ellwood; Ellwood bought the Spade Ranch (1889). C. C. Slaughter acquired county land in 1897. Virtually all of Hockley County was owned by these few men by the 1890s. There were no census returns for Hockley County until 1900, when forty-four people were found living in the area. Read Hockley County History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>
Hockley County History 1922. This is one of the unorganized counties in the Staked Plains region, County boundaries were formed in 1876, but up to the present time the county has been given over to ranch owners and practically its entire area is enclosed in the great pastures which a few years ago were the rule in all West Texas. The county lies just west of Lubbock. Continue Reading Hockley County History Written in 1922 >>