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Nolan County History 1922

Nolan County History Written in 1922

Nolan County. In 1876 the Legislature defined the boundaries of Nolan County as far out on the West Texas plains and occupied chiefly by the roving herds of buffalo, then being rapidly decimated, and by a few pioneer stockmen. Five years later, in 1881, the Texas & Pacific Railroad was built through the northern edge of the county, and until ten years ago was the only railway line in the county. In 1881 the county government was organized, and the county seat was placed at Sweetwater, one of the three railway stations in the county. No farming was attempted at that time, and in 1882 the live stock interests were estimated at about 11,000 cattle, 21,000 sheep and goats, and about 2,500 horses, mules and hogs.

The population of the county in 1880 was 640 ; in 1890, 1,573 ; in 1900, 2,611 ; in 1910, 11,999 ; and in 1920, 10,868. The rapid increase of population between 1900 and 1910 was accompanied by corresponding development of business and resources. About 1903 construction work was begun on the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railroad at Sweetwater, and in 1905 that road was placed in operation from Sweetwater north to the Red River. In 1911 the Texico-Coleman division of the Santa Fe, known as the Pecos & Northern Texas, gave the county another trunk line and increased the importance of Sweetwater as a railway city. Since then the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railroad has been built from Roscoe in this county, about fifty miles to the northwest.

In 1882 Nolan County's aggregate assessed values were $908,276; in 1903, $2,345,845; in 1913, $8,267,676; and in 1920, $8,258,198. While the ranchmen have in recent years been giving a great deal of time and attention to the improvement of their stock, diversified farming has also attracted enterprise and capital, and the county now produces a large amount of the staple crops. The total area of the county is 563,200 acres. The last census reported 385,578 acres included in farms and ranches, and about 93,000 acres in "improved land." In 1900 the county had 293 farms, and by 1910, 1,160 were enumerated. The live stock reported at the last enumeration was : Cattle, 7,978 ; horses and mules, 3,506 ; sheep, 2,448. Though a West Texas county, cotton is the chief crop. In 1919, 32,699 acres were planted in that staple ; 21,713 acres in kafir corn and milo maize ; 7,334 acres in hay and forage crops ; and 2,008 acres in corn. About 26,000 orchard fruit trees were enumerated in 1910.

Outside of Sweetwater the chief towns are Roscoe, the starting point of the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railroad ; Hylton, an inland village in the southern part of the county : and Decher, Dora, Nolan and Olga. - History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.


32° 28' 15.42" N, 100° 24' 21.384" W