Motley County History Written in 1922
Motley County. The western portion of Motley County lies in the Staked Plains region of Texas, and in many portions its undulating surface is broken and mountainous. Live stock raising is the principal occupation of the people, although there is considerable acreage under cultivation. Cotton, alfalfa, and the usual Panhandle staples are grown. Some small orchards and vineyards have demonstrated the possibilities of horticulture.
Motley County was one of those created by the act of August 21, 1876, and was organized February 25, 1891. The population figures furnish a measure of the county’s progress. In 1880, 24 inhabitants were enumerated ; in 1890, 139; in 1900, 1,257; in 1910, 2,396; and in 1920, 4,107. The county seat is Matador, but that town and the entire county have depended upon country roads and the stage coach for communication with the railroad centers. Until recently the nearest railroad points were Paducah on the east and Floydada on the west. The Quanah, Acme & Pacific Railroad has been constructed through a portion of the country. Portions of three or four of the largest ranch holdings in Northwest Texas lie in Motley County, while few farms or ranches in the county have comprised an area of less than a section of land. The total area of Motley County is 659,200 acres. In 1900 only about 8,400 acres were in cultivation, and in 1910 about 37,000 acres. There were 373 farms and ranches in 1910, as compared with 209 in 1900. For many years Motley has been a favorite county with cattlemen, and has been credited with a larger number of cattle than almost any other county in the northwestern part of the state. At the last enumeration 29,605 cattle were reported and 3,889 horses and mules. The status of agriculture in 1909 is indicated by the following figures for acreage : In cotton, 11,941 acres ; in corn, 4,106 acres ; in kaffir corn and milo maize, 4.476 acres ; and in hay and forage crops. 3,173 acres. About 10,000 orchard fruit trees were found, and grape culture is also a factor with a number of farmers. In 1903 the assessed value of property was $1,691,064; in 1913, $3,934,941 ; in 1920, $6,080,147. – History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.