National Register Listing in
Dawson County, Texas

The state flower of Texas is the bluebonnet. The flower blooms in the spring and is a common sight along the highways and in fields throughout the state.
Dawson County, Texas, is located in the West Central part of the state and has a rich history dating back to the mid-19th century. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Comanche and Apache. In the 1850s, settlers began to arrive, drawn by the opportunities for ranching and farming.

The county itself was officially established in 1876 and named after Nicholas Mosby Dawson, a hero of the Texas Revolution. The town of Lamesa was chosen as the county seat, and as the area developed, more towns and settlements sprung up, including Welch, Klondike, O'Donnell, Los Ybanez, and Ackerly.

Agriculture has always been a major part of Dawson County's economy. Initially, cattle ranching dominated the industry, but with the advent of irrigation, cotton became the primary crop in the early 20th century. Agriculture continues to be a significant sector today, with crops like cotton, sorghum, and peanuts being grown.

The discovery of oil in the 1920s brought a significant economic boost to Dawson County. Oil drilling and production became major industries, attracting workers and generating wealth. The county experienced periods of growth and decline as the oil industry fluctuated over the years.

Today, Dawson County is home to approximately 14,000 residents who continue to rely on agriculture and oil as important drivers of the local economy. The area also offers recreational opportunities, including reservoirs for fishing and boating, as well as hunting and birdwatching. The county's history and natural attractions make it an appealing destination for visitors seeking a taste of West Texas heritage.

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

  • 1842 - The area that is now Dawson County is part of the disputed territory between the Republic of Texas and Mexico.
  • 1876 - Ranchers begin to settle in the area.
  • 1876 - The Texas legislature establishes Dawson County and it is named in honor of Nicholas Mosby Dawson, a soldier who died during the Battle of Salado Creek in the Texas Revolution.
  • 1905 - The town of Lamesa is established as the county seat.
  • 1910 - The first oil well is drilled in Dawson County, leading to increased economic activity.
  • 1933 - The discovery of the giant Seminole oil field brings further growth to the county.
  • 1940s - Cotton becomes an important crop in Dawson County.
  • 1960s-1970s - The county experiences an oil boom due to advances in drilling technology.
  • 1988 - The Dawson County Courthouse, built in 1911, is added to the National Register of Historic Places.