State Antiquities Landmark in
Deaf Smith 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.
Deaf Smith County, located in the Panhandle of Texas, has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. The area was originally home to various Native American tribes, including the Apache and Comanche. However, after the Texas Revolution, settlers began to move into the region, leading to conflict with the native populations.

In 1876, the Texas Legislature established Deaf Smith County, named after Erastus "Deaf" Smith, a deaf mute scout and hero of the Texas Revolution. The county was officially organized in 1890 with the town of Hereford serving as the county seat. Agriculture quickly became the dominant industry, with cattle ranching and farming driving the local economy.

The arrival of the railroad in the early 1900s further spurred growth in Deaf Smith County. It opened up new markets and opportunities for farmers and ranchers to transport their goods. The population grew steadily, and new towns and communities were established throughout the area.

In the 20th century, Deaf Smith County faced a series of challenges, including the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and the Great Depression. However, the county survived and rebounded with the help of federal programs and initiatives. Today, the economy of Deaf Smith County is diversified, with agriculture, manufacturing, and retail sectors contributing to its prosperity. The county's rich history and resilient spirit continue to shape its identity and pave the way for a promising future.

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

  • 1838 - Josiah Hughes Bell settles in the area, becoming the first English-speaking settler in what is now Deaf Smith County
  • 1874 - The Texas Legislature officially establishes Deaf Smith County
  • 1881 - The town of Hereford is founded as the county seat
  • 1913 - The county experiences a major oil and gas boom, leading to rapid growth and economic prosperity
  • 1929 - The Great Depression hits, causing significant economic hardship in the county
  • 1935 - The Works Progress Administration (WPA) builds Palo Duro High School, the first high school in Deaf Smith County
  • 1955 - Pantex, a nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility, is established in the county, becoming a major employer and economic driver
  • 1969 - The Deaf Smith County Historical Society is founded to preserve and promote the county's history
  • 1995 - The Hereford Independent School District constructs a new high school building
  • 2017 - Deaf Smith County celebrates its 143rd anniversary