Texas has been a major oil-producing state for over a century. The first big oil discovery in Texas was the Spindletop field near Beaumont in 1901, which set off a massive oil boom that transformed the state's economy and made Texas one of the wealthiest states in the country.
Coryell County, located in central Texas, has a rich and diverse history. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Tonkawa, Lipan Apache, and Comanche. The first European explorers arrived in the 18th century, with the Spanish establishing missions in the region. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that permanent settlements began to develop.

During the Texas Revolution and the subsequent establishment of the Republic of Texas, Coryell County saw significant growth. The area attracted pioneers and settlers who were drawn by the fertile land along the rivers. In 1854, the county was officially organized and named after James Coryell, an early frontiersman who was known for exploring and surveying the area.

Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Coryell County experienced periods of prosperity and challenges. Agriculture, particularly cotton production, played a significant role in the local economy. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century enhanced the county's connectivity and spurred growth in trade and commerce.

The county also contributed to the military history of Texas. During World War II, Camp Hood (now Fort Hood) was established in the southern part of Coryell County. The military installation has had a profound impact on the local economy, serving as an economic engine and a significant employer for the region.

Today, Coryell County continues to thrive as a vibrant community. It is home to a diverse population and offers a mix of urban and rural landscapes. The county's rich history can be seen in its historic buildings, museums, and landmarks, all of which provide a glimpse into the past and contribute to the county's unique cultural identity.

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

  • 1854 - Coryell County is established by the Texas legislature.
  • 1859 - The county seat, Gatesville, is established.
  • 1861-1865 - The American Civil War impacts Coryell County, leading to economic hardships.
  • 1872 - The Texas Central Railroad is completed, boosting the county's economy.
  • 1882 - The first county courthouse is constructed.
  • 1905 - The original county courthouse is replaced with a new building.
  • 1929 - The Coryell County Museum opens, showcasing the area's history.
  • 1942-1946 - The county experiences growth during World War II due to the establishment of Camp Hood (now Fort Hood).
  • 1963 - The current county courthouse is built, replacing the 1905 building.
  • 1997 - The Coryell County Courthouse is added to the National Register of Historic Places.