Martin County History Written in 1922
Martin County was created in 1876, and its county government organized in November, 1884. It is one of the counties tributary to the line of the Texas & Pacific Railway, built through the southeastern corner in 1881. Stanton, the county seat, is the only town of any importance in the county, and is located on the railway. In spite of its convenience in the matter of railway facilities, the county’s development was very slow until the present century, and it is still a section for ranch farming rather than agriculture. There is an abundant supply of water at shallow depth beneath the surface, and irrigation has been practiced on a small scale.
The population of the county at successive decades has been : In 1880, 12; in 1890, 264; in 1900, 332; in 1910, 1,549, and in 1920. 1,146. In 1910 there were enumerated 17,093 cattle and about 1,100 horses and mules. Much of the land is still held in large tracts by the ranchmen. The total area of the county is 578,560 acres, of which 271,752 acres were included in farms or ranches in 1910. In 1900 only 203 acres were classed as “improved land,” but that amount was increased during the succeeding years to 14,400 acres in 1910. The number of farms or ranches in 1900 was 33, and 147 in 1910. The acreage devoted to the principal crops in 1909 was : Kaffir corn and milo maize, 1,699; cotton, 946; hay and forage crops, 892; and corn, 252. The property valuation of the county in 1903 was $821,253; in 1913, $2,603,143, and in 1920, $2,103,096. Stanton, the county seat, has four churches, a Catholic boarding school, two banks and one cotton gin. About 4,000 bales of cotton have been marketed here this year. – History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.