Brown County, Texas

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Brown County is a county in West Central Texas. As of 2000, the population was 37,674. Its county seat is Brownwood[1]. Brown is named for Henry Stevenson Brown, a commander at the Battle of Velasco. Brown County was founded in 1856.

The Brownwood Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Brown County.

Contents

History Timeline

  • Among first inhabitants were the Penteka.[2]
  • 1721 The Marqués de San Miguel de Aguayo expedition is said to have passed through the county.[3]
  • 1838 Land surveys are made of the area.[2]
  • 1856 Mississippi transplant Welcome W. Chandler becomes the first settler, arriving with his family, John H. Fowler, and 7 slaves. They built a log cabin on Pecan Bayou. The county is formed from Comanche and Travis. It is named after pioneer from Kentucky, Henry Stevenson Brown.[2][4]
  • 1858 The county is organized.[4] Brownwood is the county seat.[5]
  • 1874 John Wesley Hardin and gang celebrate his 21st birthday in Brown and Comanche counties. Deputy Charles Webb draws his gun provoking a gunfight that ends Webb’s life. A lynch mob is formed, but Hardin and his family are put into protective custody. The mob breaks into the jail and hang his brother Joe and two cousins. Hardin flees.[6]
  • 1875 The Fort Worth-Brownwood stage is robbed five times in two months.[2]
  • 1879 Oil is discovered on the H. M. Barnes farm near Grosvenor.[2]
  • 1886 Texas Rangers kill two fence cutters in the ongoing battle between farmers and ranchers over fencing open range.[2]
  • 1890 Cotton becomes the county’s important crop.[2]Pulitzer Prize author Katherine Ann Porter is born at Indian Creek.[7]
  • 1889 Howard Payne College[8] and Daniel Baker College[9] are established in Brownwood.
  • 1892 The Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railway is built to the county.[2][10]
  • 1895 The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway built into Brownwood.[2]
  • 1903 The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe line extends the line to Menard. The county votes itself a dry county. Alcohol would not become legal again until the 1950s.[2]
  • 1909 The boll weevil moves into the county, destroying the cotton economy.[2]
  • 1917 First commercial production of oil comes from the efforts of Jack Pippen at Brownwood.[2]
  • 1919 The first large field begins producing from a depth of 1,100 feet (340 m) in 1919 near Cross Cut.[2]
  • 1926 An oil boom follows the success of the White well on Jim Ned Creek; some 600 wells are drilled in several fields in the county during this time.[2]
  • 1938 Lake Brownwood State Park opens to the public.[11]
  • 1940 Work begins on Camp Bowie .[12]
  • 1943 The first German prisoners of war arrive; many are members of Erwin Rommel's Afrika Corps.[13]
  • 1953 Howard Payne College and Daniel Baker College combine under the name Howard Payne University.[2]
  • 1991 More than 50,561,000 barrels (8,038,600 m3) of oil had been taken from Brown County lands since 1917.[2]

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