Museum in
Carson County, Texas

Texas is known for its barbecue, and one of the most famous barbecue restaurants in the state is Kreuz Market in Lockhart. The restaurant has been in operation since 1900 and is still family-owned.
Carson County, located in the northern region of Texas, has a rich history that dates back to before European settlement. The area was initially inhabited by several Native American groups, including the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache tribes, who lived off the land and thrived in the surrounding grasslands and rivers.

European settlers began arriving in Carson County in the mid-19th century, drawn by the prospect of vast grazing land and opportunities for ranching. In 1876, the county was officially established and named after Samuel P. Carson, a scout and buffalo hunter. With the arrival of the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad in the 1880s, the county experienced rapid growth, attracting both ranchers and farmers to the area.

The early 20th century brought economic diversification to Carson County, with the discovery of oil and gas reserves. This newfound wealth fueled further development and population growth in the region. In the 1920s, the construction of Texas State Highway 3 (now known as U.S. Route 60) through the county enhanced transportation, making it easier to access the surrounding cities.

Carson County played a prominent role during World War II, as it became the location of the Pantex Ordnance Plant in 1942. The plant served as a vital component of the Manhattan Project, manufacturing and assembling nuclear weapons. Today, the Pantex Plant continues to operate and plays a significant role in the defense industry, employing many residents of Carson County.

Throughout its history, Carson County has evolved from a land of Native American tribes and open prairies to a thriving community with a diverse economy. It boasts a rich heritage of ranching, farming, oil production, and defense industries. Despite the challenges and changes over time, the county continues to preserve its history while embracing progress and growth.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Carson County, Texas.

  • 1876 - Carson County was organized and named after Samuel Price Carson, a pioneer settler in the area.
  • 1886 - The first post office, Panhandle City, was established.
  • 1890 - Panhandle City became the county seat.
  • 1902 - The Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway was built through the county, boosting economic growth.
  • 1926 - The iconic Route 66 was established, passing through the county and bringing increased tourism.
  • 1930s - The Dust Bowl hit Carson County, leading to severe agricultural and economic challenges.
  • 1942 - The Pantex Ordnance Plant was established, becoming a major employer in the area during World War II.
  • 1956 - Route 66 was bypassed by Interstate 40, leading to a decline in local businesses.
  • 1984 - The last segment of Route 66 in Texas was officially decommissioned.
  • Present - Carson County continues to be an important transportation hub with Interstate 40 and a strong agriculture-based economy.