Shackelford County, located in north central West Texas, surrounded by Throckmorton County on the north, Stephens County on the east, Eastland County to the southeast, Callahan County to the south, Jones County to the west and Haskell County to the northwest. Albany, the county seat, is about thirty-five miles northeast of Abilene.
Cities, Towns and Communities
In 1874 residents of the area [that would become Shackelford County] petitioned the county court of Jack County for permission to organize their own county. The new county was named in honor of Dr. Jack Shackelford, a Texas revolutionary hero. Fort Griffin became the temporary county seat on October 12, 1874. On November 8 of that year the founders of the county called an election to determine the permanent location, and thus Albany – named by William R. Cruger for his hometown, Albany, Georgia-was founded. In 1884 the county finished construction of a courthouse, built of limestone quarried a few miles southwest of Albany. The structure still functions in its original capacity, and in 1962 was recorded as a Texas Historical Landmark. The county’s population peaked at 6,695 in 1930, dropped to 3,323 by 1970, then climbed back to the 1980 figure of 3,915. Of the 1980 population 3,761 were white (including 211 Hispanics), 36 black, 6 Indian (in 1884 the federal government moved the Tonkawa Indians to Indian Territory), 4 Asian, and 108 of other origins. Of these residents, 2,450 lived in Albany; the remainder were in Lueders (which is partly in Jones County), Moran, and Spring Creek, or on farms and ranches. In 1990 Shackelford County had 3,316 inhabitants. Read More Shackelford County History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>
Shackelford County was created in 1858, but remained without a county organization until 1874. Its population in 1860 was given as forty-four ; in 1870, 455 ; in 1880, 2,037 ; in 1890, 2,012; in 1900, 2,461; in 1910, 4,201 and in 1920, 4,960.
The first important factor in the county’s settlement and develop ment was the establishment, about 1867, of Fort Griffin, on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River at the north edge of the county. During the decade or more of its existence, Fort Griffin was the most notorious town in West Texas, and among the old timers was as familiar a geographical locality as Fort Worth is to the present generation. It was a military post, a cattle town, and a buffalo hunters’ supply and trading place. During the decade of the ’70s, while the railroads were being built into North and West Texas and civilization was pressing the frontier westward, the Indians and the buffalo made their final stand, and while the former were driven out so as to no longer interfere with the advance of the white settlers, the latter were practically exterminated by a ruthless slaughter conducted by a large number of organized bands of “buffalo hunters,” chiefly for the sake of the profit derived from the hides. Continue Reading Shackelford County History Written in 1922 >>
Shackelford County, 1974 by the Shackelford County Historical Survey Committee.