Lubbock County, Texas

State Of Texas - County Of Lubbock

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History

The Birth and Rise of a County
          DISCOVERING THE LLANO ESTACADO
Lubbock County's history is as diverse and interesting as the people who inhabit this vast plain. The legacy of the "Diamond in the West" can be traced back years ago, when this whole area (now known as the plains) was one vast lake. As the years went by so did the water, giving way to the arrival of the famous South Plains winds and the leveling of this once vast caprock.
 
The lands of the High plains have been inhabited for thousands of years, tracing back to the first tribe of elephant. It was across these plains in 1540 that the Spanish explorer, Captain Francisco Vaquez de Coronado came to explore the flat lands of the Southwest in search of the much fantasized Golden city of Quivira. Historians and archeologists have found evidence that these Spanish expeditions camped in the famous "Lubbock Lake Site and Yellow House Canyon," which is present day north of the city of Lubbock. The Lubbock Lake Site is considered one of the archeological wonders of the United States.
 
Many of the natural geographical features discovered by the Spanish explorers were named by these exploring heroes of humanity, and some of these names are still used today. The Lubbock Lake Site was known as La Punto de Agua or the place of Water, Llano Estacado translated into the Southern High Plains, Canon Casos Amarillos was Yellow House Canyon, and Canon de Rescate was Canyon of Ransom, or better known as present day Ransom Canyon.
 
Later, Indians of the Comanche tribe roamed this whole area because it was a haven for their basic livelihood, the buffalo. The Comanche tribe had free reign of the South Plains until the 1870's when the white settlers and hunters arrived and deprived the Comanche people of their livelihood. These hunters were responsible for many of the Indian uprisings and eventually the demise of the Comanche civilizations on the South Plains. After the slaughter of the buffalo, very few people stayed on these level plains as many of the first explorers moved on to other parts of the world.
 TAMING THE SOUTH PLAINS
After the Civil War many citizens from the North and the South headed to Texas because of economic hardships caused by the bloody brother vs. brother war. The first wave of the migrating hordes reached the South Plains by March, 1873. During that year a group of migrating adventurers joined together and formed a group to explore the South Plains and to open the way for others who wished to seek homesteads on the Llano Estacado.
 
The cattle boom in the late 1860s gave new motivation to settle this region and take advantage of the vast pastures and other abundant natural resources. The lure of vast open and cheap land brought many adventuresome settlers to this part of the country for a chance to colonize one of the final western frontiers.
 THE FORMING OF A COUNTY
Lubbock County was created on August 21, 1876 by an act of legislation in Austin that divided Bexar county which included parts of Northwest Texas and the South Plains into forty-eight counties. One of the newly formed counties, know as Lubbock County, was named after Tom S. Lubbock, a former Texas Ranger, Confederate Officer and brother of Francis R. Lubbock, Civil War Governor of Texas. At its creation, Lubbock County was attached to Baylor County and remained an appendage of that County until the organization of Crosby County in 1887.
 
Many distinct individuals were responsible for the formation of Lubbock County, some the more notorious were: W.E. Rainer, W.D. Crump and Associates, and Frank Wheelock.
 
W.E. Rainer was a wealthy cattleman, manager, and part owner of the Rayner Cattle Company, with home offices in St. Louis, MO. Once established in the county, Rainer decided to form a city on the north side of the canyon, and call his new town Monterey. At the same time, another father of Lubbock, W.D. Crump, wished to build on the north side of the canyon, and name his new establishment Old Lubbock. After the development of these new townships talk began as to where the county seat would be established. Hence conflict. Crump wanted the seat in Old Lubbock and Rainer wanted Monterey. Eventually the two factions compromised and land was purchased for $1,920.00, January 21, 1891, by the groups for the formation of the city of Lubbock and the establishment of the county seat. Almost immediately the movement from Monterey and Old Lubbock began.
 
Once the county seat was determined, the election to organize the county was held on March 10, 1891. Colonel G.W. Shannon, was elected the first County Judge. His term lasted until November 17th 1894 where he was succeeded by P.F. Brown. The first County Commissioners of Lubbock were: J.D. Caldwell, F.E. Wheelock, L.D. Hund and Van Sanders. The first Sheriff was William M. Lay, while Will F. Hendrix took his role as the first County Attorney and George Wolffarth, was termed the first County Clerk.
 
By 1891 the Lubbock County Government was fully functional, so to make everything official the county jail was approved May 11, 1891, giving the first churches of Lubbock a place to congregate. The jailhouse also served the community as a temporary school and a sort of social center. The city of Lubbock incorporated in 1909, so from 1891 to 1909 the Commissioners Court was the governing body of the town and county.
 
The first courthouse was a large 2-story frame building. All construction materials had to be hauled from Amarillo and Colorado City, since the Lubbock area did not have an abundance of trees. When the courthouse was built, churches left the jail and used this new county building as their meeting place.
 
In 1900 there were nearly 300 people in the county which included 70 to 80 families. The four cornered frame courthouse was the heart of the community in this little High plains town. Two of the reasons being was because of the public water trough by the windmill, which was for very many years the town's nearest approach to a water system; also surrounding the courthouse were the public barbecue pits that had been dug on the east side of the square. The first hotel in Lubbock, the Nicolett Hotel, still shared domination of the landscape with the courthouse, but to the residents and visitors of the plains, the most striking feature would have undoubtedly been the windmill, an engineering spectacle which dotted the horizon and fields of the South Plains. The windmill has been a major necessity for the survival and growth of the civilization of the High plains, by supplying water and a livelihood to the pioneers, crops and cattle of the dusty plain.
 
INFORMATION COMPILED FROM THE LUBBOCK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND M.S.. HORACE HURTSELL
 
COMPILED FROM THESES WRITTEN TO M.S.. MYRA ANN WALLACE, G.P. RUCH AND H.B. CARROLL AND FILED IN THE LIBRARY OF TEXAS TECHNOLOGICAL COLLEGE
 
Judges and County Commissioners
 
County Judges
1891-1894 G.W. Shannon
1931-1936 Egbert Lee Pitts
1894-1898 P.F. Brown
1936-1941 John James Dillard
1898-1902 W.D. Crump
1941-1945 Garland V. Pardue
1902-1906 George R. Bean
1945-1955 Walter Davies
1906-1912 John R. McGee
1955-1958 Dudley K. Brummett
1912-1916 E.R. Haynes
1959-1964 Bill Davis
1916-1920 J.H. Moore
1964-1964 William R. Shaver
1920-1924 P.F. Brown
1964-1990 Rodrick L. Shaw
1924-1928 Charles Nordyke
1991-1998 Don McBeath
1929-1930 Robert H. Bean
1999-        Tom Head
 
Precinct 1 Commissioners
1891-1892 J.D. Caldwell 1923-1926 Marvin T. Warlick
1893-1894 J.K. Caraway 1927-1930 Nathan Alexander Payne
1895-1898 J.C. Coleman 1931-1934 Claude A. Burrus
1899-1900 H.S. Graham 1935-1940 P.B. Penny
1899-1902 G.H. Butler 1941-1942 Guy K. Horton
1903-1904 J.W. Winn 1943-1948 P.B. Penny
1903-1904 J.S. Slover 1949-1953 Robert Oscar Short
1905-1911 L.M. Knight 1954-1976 Arch G. Lamb
1912-1914 R.A. Barclay 1977-1980 Edgar Chance
1915-1916 N.R. Porter 1981-1988 Boyd Roberts
1917-1918 S.A. Richmond 1989-1992 Randall Carpenter
1919-1920 M.E. Merril 1993-2004 Kenny Maines
1921-1922 M.M. Crawford 2005-        Bill McCay
 
Precinct 2 Commissioners
1891-1894 F.E. Wheelock
1929-1932 J.T. Pinkston
1895-1896 R.C. Burus
1933-1934 W.P. Florence
1897-1898 M.S. Acuff
1935-1936 J.T. Pinkston
1899-1906 R.C. Burns
1937-1948 Benjamin Mansker
1907-1912 George M. Boles
1949-1967 George G. Green
1913-1916 C.A. Joplin
1967-1977 Max Arrants
1917-1918 James L. Benton
1977-1990 Coy Biggs
1919-1928 H.D. Talley
1991-2006 James Kitten
2007-        Mark Heinrich
 
Precinct 3 Commissioners
1891-1892 L.D. Hunt
1943-1946 T. L. Holt
1892, Feb-1894, Feb M.A. Wood 1947-1950 Albert O. Isom
1894, May-1894, Nov J.C. Bowles 1951-1952 James H. Robbins
1894, Nov-1895 G.F. Stevenson 1953-1956 Albert O. Isom
1896-1898 G.P. Smith
1957-1976 L.C. Derrick
1899-1900 H.B. Reed
1977-1980 James Lancaster
1901-1902 H.V. Edsall
1981-1984 Franklin Dunn
1903-1906 J.T. Brown
1985-1992 Eliseo Solis
1907-1910 H.B. Reed
1993-2004 Gilbert Flores
1911-1920 L.O. Burford
2005-2008 Ysidro Gutierrez
1921-1922 C.W. Beene
2009-2012 Gilbert Flores
1923-1926 B.N. Wheeler
2013-2016 Lorenzo "Bubba" Sedeño
1927-1932 William L. Brashear
2017-       Gilbert Flores
1933-1940 Thomas L. Holt
1941-1942 Edgar Elias Gray
 
Precinct 4 Commissioners
1891-1892 Van Sanders 1923-1932 L.C. Denton
1893-1894 W.H. White 1933-1938 Burton O. McWhorter
1895-1898 G.O. Groves 1939-1940 V.J. Farris
1899-1900 E.P. Earhart 1941-1944 Perry L. Corley
1901-1904 H.D. Beal 1951-1954 Newton Stokes
1905-1906 W.S. Elkin 1955-1958 Fred Gentry
1907-1910 R.A. Barclay 1959-1994 Alton Brazell
1911-1912 Bob Penney 1995-1999 Gary Schwantz
1913-1914 J.M.Wright 1999-2000 Nathan Ziegler
1915-1922 Paul Van Rosenberg 2000-        Patti Jones
 

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