Hale County, Texas

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Hale County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. In 2000, its population was 36,602. It was organized in 1888, and is named for Lt. John C. Hale, a hero of the Battle of San Jacinto. The seat of the county is Plainview[1]. Home of the noted former Hale County Judge, Judge Bill Hollars a.k.a. "Hang 'em High" Hollars.


History Timeline

  • 7000 b.c. Paleo-Indians first county inhabitants. Later native American inhabitants include the Comanche.[2]
  • 1876 The Texas legislature forms Hale County from Bexar County.[2]
  • 1881 Brothers T.W. and T.N. Morrison, and W.D. Johnson, establish the cattle Cross L Ranch and the XIT.[3]
  • 1883 New York Methodist minister Horatio Graves becomes the first white permanent settler in the county.[3]
  • 1886 The city of Plainview has its beginnings when sheep rancher Zachery Taylor Maxwell moves his family and 2,000 sheep from Floyd County to the site of two hackberry groves[4] on the old military trail established by Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie. The city’s name comes from the area’s vista.[5]
  • 1888 The county is organized. Plainview is the county seat.[6]
  • 1900 The county has 259 farms and ranches, with a population of 1,680.[2]
  • 1906 The Santa Fe Railway comes to Plainview.[7]
  • 1906 Wayland Baptist College is founded in Plainview.[8]
  • 1909 Businessman Levi Schick opens the Schick Opera House in Plainview.[9]
  • 1911 The county's first motor-driven irrigation well is drilled.[2]
  • 1912 The Texas Land and Development Company is organized in Plainview. The purpose is to entice settlers by dividing a large tract of land into individual farms, and preparing each farm for occupancy.[10]
  • 1944 Plainview Site is discovered. In addition to bone and man-man artifacts, archeologists find the remains of 100 extinct bison about twice the size of modern size.[11]
  • 1946 Oil is discovered in the Anton-Irish field of Lamb and Hale counties.[12]
  • 1969 Country artist Jimmy Dean, brother Don Dean, and cousin-in-law Troy Pritchard found the Jimmy Dean Sausage Company and open the Jimmy Dean Meat Company in Plainview.[13]
  • 1986 Hale County is one of sixty-two counties in the Texas still legally barring the sale of alcohol.[14]
  • 2010 Republican Jim Landtroop, an insurance agent in Plainview, is elected as the District 85 member of the Texas House of Representatives, after having lost the 2006 legislative contest to Joseph P. Heflin of Crosby County.[15]

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