State Antiquities Landmark in
Howard County, Texas

Texas is home to the world's largest bat colony. The Bracken Bat Cave, near San Antonio, is home to millions of Mexican free-tailed bats.
Howard County, Texas was officially established on August 21, 1876, named after Volney Erskine Howard, a prominent early settler. The area had previously been inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Comanche and Apache. The arrival of Anglo settlers in the mid-19th century led to conflicts with these tribes, as well as the occasional raid by outlaws.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Howard County experienced a surge in population and development. Railroads played a crucial role in this growth, with several lines passing through the county, including the Texas and Pacific Railroad. These railroads not only brought people and goods to the area but also opened up opportunities for economic expansion, especially in agriculture and ranching.

The county's economy primarily relied on cotton during this period, with a significant number of cotton farms operating in Howard County. However, the agricultural sector faced several challenges, such as droughts and the Great Depression, which led to a decline in cotton production and a subsequent shift towards other types of farming.

In more recent years, Howard County has seen further diversification of its economy. The discovery of oil and gas reserves in the area led to an influx of energy companies, which provided jobs and contributed to the county's economic growth. Today, Howard County remains an important center for oil and gas production in Texas, while also cultivating a growing healthcare and tourism industry.

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

  • 1876 - Howard County is officially organized and named after Volney E. Howard, a Texas congressman.
  • 1877 - The first post office is established in the county.
  • 1890 - The population of Howard County reaches 862 residents.
  • 1907 - The Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway is completed, passing through Howard County.
  • 1927 - Howard County experiences a major oil boom, leading to increased economic growth.
  • 1942 - Big Spring Army Air Force Bombardier School is established in Howard County during World War II.
  • 1953 - The construction of the Big Spring Airpark begins.
  • 1960 - The population of Howard County reaches its peak at around 35,000 residents.
  • 1980 - Howard County experiences another significant oil boom, contributing to economic prosperity.
  • 1998 - A tornado strikes Howard County, causing severe damage to homes and infrastructure.
  • 2010 - The population of Howard County stands at approximately 35,000 residents.