Winkler County is located on the edges of the Pecos Valley and the Llano Estacado, surrounded by New Mexico to the northwest, Andrews County to the northeast, Ector County to the east, Ward County to the south, Loving County to the west. Kermit, the county seat, is 40 west of Odessa.
Cities, Towns and Communities
Winkler County 1922. Winkler County touches the southeastern corner of New Mexico, and was created from Tom Green County in 1887, but remained without a county government until 1910. Its soil is sandy for the most part and while an underground water supply may be obtained in many places it is a country which will have very little agricultural development at least for many years. Its ranges have been occupied by stockmen for thirty years or more, and there is no important development to be recorded except a very gradual breaking up of the larger ranges and the cultivation of limited areas by dry farming methods. The Texas & Pacific Railway touches the southeast corner of the county and made it accessible many years before settlers came in any numbers.
In 1890 the county was accorded a population of eighteen; in 1900, sixty ; in 1910, 442; and in 1920, 481. Since the organization of the county the Village of Kermit, near the center of the county, has been made the county seat, and is the only town in the county. The total assessment in 1909 was $818,363; in 1913, $1,085,473; and in 1920, $7,997,670. Of the total area of 540,160 acres, more than half was classified as farms or ranches according to the last census report, but only 638 acres were “improved land.” There were 128 farms enumerated, as compared with twelve at the preceding census. The last census afforded no statistics on agriculture, except about 200 acres planted in hay and forage crops. The number of cattle were 8,445 ; horses and mules, 273; sheep, 7,441. – History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.
On February 26, 1887, Winkler County was established from territory in Tom Green County. It was named for Confederate Col. Clinton M. Winkler. By 1890 eleven men and seven women, all white, lived in Winkler County. The state ended free use of its land in 1900, and state agents were sent across West Texas to collect rents from ranchers on public land. …A post office was opened at Duval on April 3, 1908. It was located on the John Howe ranch, 1½ miles west of the site of present Kermit. Lots in the townsite of Duval were widely promoted, and the town competed with Kermit for the county seat. When the promoters of Kermit townsite offered lots for free, county residents chose that town as the seat. After losing the race with Kermit, Duval faded, and the post office closed in 1910. A post office was established at Joiel from 1908 through 1910 and at Theodore from 1909 until 1912. In 1910 Kermit and Hay Flat gained post offices. A school was built at Hay Flat in 1910 and operated until it was consolidated with the Kermit school in 1913; that year the Hay Flat post office closed. On April 5, 1910, Winkler County was organized. Read More Winkler County History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>