before the town of Spearman
was born, the settlement of Hansford
became the county seat with the winning votes for the election swung by “the use
of a three-seated hack and liberal doses of Dodge City tarantula juice.” Their
new frame courthouse was nearing completion in 1891 when a cyclone struck, scattering
the building materials across the prairie.
Citizens salvaged the materials
and built a second, much smaller courthouse. As it neared completion a second
cyclone hit and ripped the roof off that structure. When the railroad finally
came through the county, the town of Spearman
The town of Channing
was first known as Rivers but could not get a U.S. post office permit under that
name. It had to change the title to the present name. Growth of Channing
was swift as people and merchants began abandoning nearby Tascosa
after the new railroad missed the town.
In Hemphill County, a town named
Oklahoma City was once platted with a few lots being sold to citizens. The town
site never developed and soon became a ghost site.
In 1917 and 1918, the
huge oil fields of Hutchinson County were being discovered by geologists who generated
complaints from local land owners who claimed they were “trampling the grass and
disturbing the coyotes.”
In the first six years after Oldham County was
organized, 28 people were either shot, killed or died violent deaths.
Besides those shot in Tascosa,
three died of suicide, one by a lightning strike and another was killed in a wagon
accident. All were buried in Boot Hill in Tascosa.
new railroad from Amarillo
west opened for business all right, but train crews had to stop, open and shut
barbed wire gates before proceeding on their way.
origin of the name of Bovina,
a small settlement Parmer County, came from the Latin word bovine, meaning cattle.
At the time, the entire county consisted of cattle ranches.
is the only county in the Texas Panhandle
to have only one town within its boundaries.
At one time Lipscomb County,
located in the northeastern Texas
Panhandle, contained more live streams than any other Texas county.
largest single herd trail drive ever recorded took place Aug. 24, 1882, in Swisher
County, numbering 10,652 head of livestock belonging to the T Anchor Ranch.
the terrible blizzards of the 1880s and 1890s, almost every Great Plains rancher
suffered total or near-total livestock losses. Especially hard hit were those
whose cattle died when stopped by the new barbed wire drift fences.
losses were so great, it began the ending of the free, open range grazing era.
It also signaled the beginning of fenced ranges. Of interest, two of the big ranches,
the JA and RO survived with almost no losses.
Because the JA was located in the Palo
Duro Canyon and the RO was located below the caprock. Both were about 300
to 500 feet lower in altitude and protected by the canyon walls and creek bottoms.
© Delbert Trew
- March 6,
"It's All Trew"
Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He can be reached at 806-779-3164,
by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by email at trewblue @centramedia.net.
Topics: Texas Railroads | Small
Town Sagas |
| Texas Ranching | Columns
| Texas Panhandle |