Martin County, located on the southern High Plains of west Central Texas, surrounded on the north by Dawson County, on the west by Andrews County, on the east by Howard County, and on the south by Midland County and Glasscock County.
Cities, Towns & Communities
Martin County was formed on August 21, 1876, from Bexar County and named for Wylie Martin, one of Stephen F. Austin‘s Old Three Hundred colonists. Martin County was attached to Mitchell County for administrative purposes for five months and then attached to Howard County until 1884, when the county was reduced to its present size and organized with Mariensfield (now Stanton) as the county seat. The first white settlement in what is now Martin County was Grelton (later known as Mariensfield), which was established in 1881 by John Konz and his family under the sponsorship of the Texas and Pacific Railway. Railroad promotion was a key element in attracting settlers to West Texas. “It is emphatically the country for the poor man,” urged one railroad brochure. “No matter how poor a man may be, if he has health he may easily become the possessor of independent wealth in a few years.” In support of such optimistic forecasts the railroad started a twenty-acre experimental farm at Grelton for wheat, barley, rye, and oats. The region was pleasing in appearance and well watered by springs, including Mustang Pond, where United States Army officers had once observed Indians watering 1,000 mustangs. “This beautiful country,” said one pioneer, “was just a lush garden with green plums, prairie chicken, and quail galore.” In 1881 the Texas and Pacific line began service to its lands in the Martin County area, which it sold to settlers for $1.50 to two dollars per acre. Read Martin County History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>
Martin County History 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. Continue Reading Martin County History Written in 1922 >>
Martin County: The First Thirty Years, 1970 by Pat W. Hull and Fay E. Smithson.
Martin County, Texas, 1979, by Martin County Historical Commission.