Henrietta, Texas

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Henrietta is a city in and the county seat of Clay County, Texas, United States.[3] It is part of the Wichita Falls, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,264 at the 2000 census.



Henrietta is one of the oldest settled towns in north central Texas. It sits at the crossroads of U.S. Highway 287, U.S. Highway 82, State Highway 148, and Farm to Market Road 1197 in north central Clay County.

Clay County was separated from Cooke County (along with Montague County) in 1857 and Henrietta was named as the county seat. The naming of the town remains a mystery though several explanations have been offered. However, it was named, it became the center of gravity for the fledgling county. By 1860, it remained the only town in the county, having 109 residents, 10 houses, and a general store. It sat at the far western edge of Anglo expansion in north central Texas, but Native Americans remained a viable threat to current and future settlers. In 1862, Henrietta opened its post office. The Civil War saw American soldiers leave all of the south, and Henrietta again suffered from continuous attacks from local tribes. By late 1862, Henrietta was abandoned, as white settlers fled back east to Cooke and Montague counties. Remaining structures were burned. Anglos continued to attempt resettlement, and in 1865 after the Civil War, a group attempting resettlement was massacred. A Quaker group again attempted to reoccupy the former townsite but they were killed or fled. In 1870, 50 soldiers and Kiowa Indians fought a battle in the ruins of Henrietta.

After the battle, white settlers returned to Henrietta, this time permanently. In 1874, the town's post office reopened and Henrietta quickly became the economic hub of north central Texas. In 1882, the Fort Worth and Denver Railway reached Henrietta on its southern side, and in 1887 it became the western most terminus for the Gainesville, Henrietta, and Western Railway. The line was later extended to Wichita Falls after heavy lobbying by Wichita Falls businessmen. Henrietta became a logistical supply point for various operations in north central Texas, including mining in Foard and Archer counties. The Southwestern Railway Company completed a rail line between Archer City, Texas and Henrietta in 1910.

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