State Antiquities Landmark in
Clay County, Texas

The Battle of San Jacinto fought on April 21, 1836, was the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution, and led to the capture of Santa Anna and the end of the conflict.
Clay County, Texas, located in the northern region of the state, has a rich history that dates back to the mid-19th century. The area was initially inhabited by various Native American tribes, such as the Wichita and Comanche, who roamed the vast grasslands. The first significant European settlements in the area began in the 1850s, with pioneers establishing farms and ranches, taking advantage of the fertile soil and abundant water sources.

In 1857, Clay County was officially established, named after Henry Clay, a prominent American statesman. The county seat, Henrietta, was founded in 1859 and quickly became a center for trade and commerce in the region. Throughout the 1860s, the county experienced growth as more settlers arrived, and the first courthouse was built in 1868.

The late 19th century was a period of development for Clay County, as the arrival of the Texas and Pacific Railway in the 1880s brought increased connectivity and access to markets. Agriculture, especially cattle ranching, became a key industry, with vast herds grazing on the open prairies. Oil was discovered in the early 20th century, leading to a boom in the county's economy, and the population surged.

Over the years, Clay County has maintained its agricultural roots while also diversifying its economy. Today, the county is known for its ranching, farming, and oil production industries. The historical charm of Henrietta has been preserved, with its downtown area listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Clay County's history is a testament to the enduring spirit of the people who have made it their home and the ongoing growth and development of this vibrant community.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Clay County, Texas.

  • 1857 - Clay County is created from Cooke County by the Texas legislature.
  • 1871 - Henrietta becomes the county seat.
  • 1872 - Clay County experiences growth with the arrival of the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway.
  • 1882 - A courthouse fire destroys most of the county's early records.
  • 1890 - The population of Clay County reaches its peak at around 9,000 residents.
  • 1924 - The discovery of oil leads to an economic boom in the county.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression affects Clay County, resulting in a decline in population.
  • 1965 - Lake Arrowhead, a reservoir, is completed in Clay County.
  • 1987 - The Henrietta courthouse is added to the National Register of Historic Places.